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Friday, February 10, 2006

Greater Purpose

In a part of town that I rarely go to, in a building I have only driven by, sitting next to a women I have never met, I learned the most valuable lesson of my life.

The instant I sat down I thought I should find a different seat. I wanted to read while I waited. There would be no reading. Two women sitting a few feet away were talking entirely too loud. I tried to block them out and soon gave up. I decided instead to listen to them talk while I giggled to myself. The younger of the ladies was delivering a sermon to the older lady.

My laughter was not me dissing God by any means. I just thought it was an odd platform to be delivering such a topic. I have my own views on God that dont fit neatly into any one religion. I usually respond with "Christian" when asked my beliefs, but my beliefs are more rooted in my upbringing, my education in science, and my personal observations of the world. I dont think I am right. I dont think anyone has it all right. But what I believe works for me, gives me hope and strength, and I think that is the most important part. Contrary to several popular beliefs, I am not God fearing but God loving. I think everyone has a right to their opinion on the subject and I am never out to alter anyone's opinion. Therefore, unless I am prompted, I keep my own opinion on the subject to myself. That is why I found it so amusing that these two women were discussing their belief in God so loudly and openly in such an unlikely setting.

I tried to piece together the story.

The older woman, a lady in her 70's, had been sitting at a bus stop. There were plenty of people waiting for the bus that day, all spread out around the area. A strange feeling came over her, one of illness and confusion, and she stood. Instead of speaking to anyone that was near her, she walked past several people to a man she did not know who had been standing with his back towards her. She asked the man, whose name she found out later was Mr. Black, "Can you do me a favor?" The man turned and said that he would. The older woman said, "There is something wrong with me. I dont know what it is but I need you to tell my family." That is that last thing this woman remembers.

The woman had an aneurysm. Although I have to make some assumptions to fill in the blanks of the story, it seemed that Mr. Black got help for her. Mr. Black had gotten contact information for this woman's daughter. This woman's daughter was the other woman that I overheard talking that day. The older lady, the mom, said over and over again that she didnt know why she went to that man, why she picked that stranger out of all of the strangers there at the bus stop, to talk to, to confide in, and ultimately, to trust with her life.

It was her daughter who was doing the preaching that day. The daughter told her mother that God's angels were looking out for her. Maybe Mr. Black was being tested that day, to see if he would do a good job. Or maybe Mr. Black was one of God's angels. This older woman had a greater purpose in life, a purpose that had not been realized yet. Her life was in God's hands and God still had work for her to do. Mr. Black was an angel sent to ensure that she stay on this earth to do her work. At any point in the conversation when the older woman got down, complained about her finances or the cane she had to use, her daughter was right there to lift her back up with God's love. "Mom, dont complain about these little things. These are just material things. God gave you life and you are not done using it. You have a greater purpose. God sent his angels to help reach that purpose."

As soon as those two ladies got up and left, I was thankful I could return to my book. Silence at last.

Thirty minutes later my life was altered. The one truth that I had always known was only a myth. Half of my heart had been ripped from my chest and shattered to the floor in a million little pieces. I couldnt think. I couldnt breathe. I couldnt even be sure that I had heard what I had heard.

The other half of my heart was remembering Mr. Black and the 70-something woman who had passed so quickly through my life. The other half of my heart was singing in celebration.

That woman had looked death in the eye. She had lived through wars and struggles that I have only read about in history books. Yet, she needed Mr. Black and God's angels to pull her back into this world to remind her that her work here wasnt done. She still had a purpose. She was 70 years old and still had to figure out what her purpose was.

In a blink of an eye, I knew I was the luckiest person in the world. I am 27 years old and I know what my greater purpose is. I discovered that purpose in some part of town I rarely go to, in a building I have only driven past, from a woman who doesnt even know that her purpose was to help me discover mine.

2 Comments:
At 5:18 PM, Anonymous OrlandoJess said...

Annie,
This story gives me chills...any time you start to get discouraged RE-READ it. I really do believe these things happen for a reason, and I believe you found yours!

 
At 2:32 PM, Blogger Sara said...

Annie, You have amazed me with your how much your wisdom has grown during this stressful time. You have grown up indeed, in all areas of your life.

Oh, and I think you have a tremendous talent for prose!

My love and prayers are with you. I'll vist your blog often!

Sara Without an H

 

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