My wife and I were living in northern California (near Sacramento). I was a freelance Web designer and worked part time selling ads on the back of cash register receipts. Nevertheless, I was struggling financially. I needed a "regular" job so I took a look in our church's employment bulletin and saw there was a job working in an art gallery of Thomas Kinkade. I called them, made an appointment and, mid-morning the next day, was on my way for an interview.
The appointment was downtown Sacramento. I wasn't exactly sure how to get there but felt I could wing it okay. I'm a songwriter and suddenly, as I was driving on the freeway, I was hit with sudden inspiration of songs. Oh, how I wished I weren't driving so I could write the inspirations down. I sang these wonderful made-up songs to my heart's content, then the inspiration left me.
I pulled into a metered street-side parking space what I thought was near the art gallery (which was in a downtown mall not directly accessible by car). I knew I would have to walk. Unfortunately, I didn't have any change for the meter. Noticing a large office building, I walked in..but it was all dark except for a lit area to my right. Management offices, I thought. Someone will have change.
"Hello. Anyone have change for the meter?" I shouted from just outside the office door.
"Yes," said a tall man who had come forward. "I believe I do." He dug into his pockets and came up with a handful of change. I gave him a dollar but he fidgeted with the change--almost as if he didn't know what the change to a dollar was. I helped him by reaching into his open hand and taking the proper change then I thanked him.
Another man was in there, also. He was looking for change in a desk drawer in the back but quit when I got the change. The first man produced a key to the restroom for me at my request, also. After that, I put change in the meter and headed to the interview. It was a long walk--maybe 15 minutes. I had the interview which went well but that did not turn out to be my next place of employment.
I walked back as fast as I could knowing my meter was going to be running out. As I arrived to my car, I noticed the man from the building who had given me my change, standing there beside my car. I was curious, then, as I walked up, he said, as he held out his hand, "I just want you to know we're praying for you!"
I said, "I knew there was something else about you," which didn't make sense to me then and doesn't to this day but it was all I could think of to say.
Within the next 3 days, I answered an ad on the Internet and landed a job with Sprint. I worked for them for 2 years as my wife battled cancer. We moved to Nampa, Idaho where she had a health crisis and we decided she should go to Austin, TX for some alternative treatment. Meanwhile, I had landed a job working for a DirecTV call center there in Nampa, ID.
To wind up the story, eventually I ended up flying with our 6 year old daughter to Austin, TX where I stayed by my wife's bedside for 5 weeks as she courageously battled her cancer, finally succumbing to it. Praise God for the hospice there. And praise God for my wife's courage and closeness to God in her last days. But, I also praise God for my angel encounter when I went to that job interview years ago.
That special moment with that special message from the angel stands out like a bookmark in my mind. For a brief time, God sent his messenger to tell me they were praying for me. There was no rhyme or reason for that message other than God knew it was needed to bolster my strength for the coming events that were about to change my life.
I can't tell you how often I've thought of that encounter and wept with joy that God cared enough to send someone to remind me we are not alone EVER. I believe what was true for me, is true for everyone. As I think back to the sudden inspirational moments in the car on the way to my appointment and the way the man didn't quite know what change to give me and his reassuring message by the side of my car when I returned, it all adds up to a caring, loving, nurturing God who loves us all dearly.
For a detailed account of the miracles surrounding his life, please visit his extensive website, Joyful Christian Living.com (http://www.JoyfulChristianLiving.com)
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