I somewhat sheepishly announced to people at lunch that I kind of feel like it was God who had me meet the couple I met after church today. And as you know, I'm (perhaps sinfully) hesitant to assign anything to God, even the glaring obvious things. If it was God, I'm not sure what the purpose was. Maybe just to bring a little more happiness to the past few days, which were already being good to me and bringing me out of my week and a half funk.
If you've been around me, or if you've read my blog, you've heard me mention on several occasions the book Little Chapel on the River by Wendy Bounds, and how it was one of the best pictures of what true community looks like. The book tells the story of Guinans, a general store and pub located in Garrison, New York, just across the Hudson River from West Point. People from all walks of life, governors and janitors, soldiers and peaceniks, had called Guinans their home away from home for over fifty years. One guy who moved away from Garrison but drove over fifty miles once a week just to hang out at Guinans dubbed the pub his church. Thus, The Little Chapel on the River. (I wrote about a note I received from the author in my year end post found HERE.)
Today after church as I was making my weekly post-service walk to the back restroom, I overheard an older couple, parents of a recent graduate, walking in the backside wondering amongst themselves if the church was an old store. Eavesdropping, and a tour guide at heart, I confirmed that it was and struck up a conversation-- Hello, how are you, where are you from, type thing. They said New York. Me, as if I am an expert at New York geography (I'm not) asked where in New York. They replied the Hudson Valley, just across the river from West Point. Imagine their pleasure when I shrieked like a kid, "Garrison?!"
It turned out that they were from Garrison. They were regulars at the Little Chapel for years and said their daughter practically grew up there. As we talked about the pub they would mention names of friends of theirs, people who I had recognized from the book. It was a great experience. And out of it, I received an open invitation to come stay with them anytime I'm in New York.
So the moral of the story is that it pays to read. Or maybe it just pays to have a bladder that instinctively needs emptying at the end of church.