It's almost the end of another year, and I was reminded (once again) of the awesomeness of God – even in the "little things". My mom and I came to Savannah, GA to spend the last few days of 2013 in a nice, relaxing "away from home" atmosphere. We chose Savannah because it was nearby (about a 3.5 hour drive from our home in Atlanta, GA), we have family/friends in the area, and there's a lighthouse at Tybee Island, just 20 miles outside of Savannah, and I wanted to climb to the top of it. [I LOVE LIGHTHOUSES!!]
When I was in eighth grade (many many moons ago) I lived in Savannah with my maternal grandparents while my newly remarried mother went to New York to establish a home for me and my brother. It was only for about six months, but what a blessing, because before the year was over, my maternal grandmother would close her eyes in death. The memories of the love, care and good food she showered on my brother and me will forever live in my memory and heart. So, one of the things I really wanted to do on this trip was to go by the old house and see it again. I told a friend of mine, "it would be so cool if the owner of the house were sitting on the porch and would allow me to take a picture or something." But because we were driving by on a Monday … morning … around 11:00 am … when most people are at work, I wasn't holding out much hope for that happening. I didn't pray about it. I didn't ask God to make it happen. I just put it out there in the atmosphere through a Facebook private message conversation with a friend.
Mom and I got near the neighborhood – and let me tell you, I haven't been back to Savannah since I left in 1978. To say things have changed (even as they remain the same) is an understatement. Your world when you are in eighth grade (and not driving) is a lot different than when you have a car and go hither and yon, and head in the wrong direction and make wrong turns. But, despite some wrong turns, my mom and I finally made it to West 36th Street in Savannah, GA. But she didn't remember the street address, and I surely didn't. So, a quick phone call to my aunt back in Atlanta to ask if she knew. Nope. None of the houses on the street looked like the house I had in my memory and for a moment, I had a flash of despair. My aunt was convinced that the house had been destroyed by fire and was no longer standing. My mom thought that the house was the one that was boarded up and marked for condemnation. I had no clue, because the house I remembered from childhood has a long wraparound porch that my cousins, brother and I would run around on, and none of the houses on the street had that kind of porch. But then my mother remembered that it was the house right next to the car lot (which was still there) and viola! There was the house I was looking for.
(You know what's coming next, right?)
As I got out of the car to look at the house more closely, the front door opened and this young man (he was kinda cute, too, but a baby – like 25 years old) comes out and looks at me like, "who are you and what do you want?" I explain to him that his house used to be my grandparents' house and that I lived there in the 70s. I asked if I could take a picture of the house to share with my family, and he was like, "Sure." By this time, a lady (Ms. Rhonda) came out to see what was going on, and when I explained the situation, she broke into a big grin and said, "I've always wondered about the people who might have lived here." This started a conversation that lasted about 10 minutes, but what a balm to my heart. The house HAD been struck by lightning and pretty much abandoned until she and her family bought it and restored it. Some things were different (like, no more wraparound porch), but some things were still the same, like the summer kitchen in the backyard that has now been converted into office space. (I think that's what she told me). She was very gracious about allowing me to take pictures of the house, which I have since shared with some of my family members.
As I drove away, I thought, "Wow! Thank you God. Even the littlest desires of our hearts are important to you." I stand amazed that the Creator God, Who has MUCH more important things to worry about as we approach another New Year, saw fit to honor my simple request that I didn't even formalize into a prayer for Him to answer. What an awesome God we serve – I really ought to serve Him better. Pray to that end for me, and I'll do the same for you.
God bless you and keep you. Happy 2014!