The older gentleman sat at the end of the table talking non-stop to the young girl on her laptop. Paul and I joined the table with our coffees and the intention to get a little work done at the coffee shop.
This sweet man would have none of that–it was important for introductions all around.
Within minutes we were having a delightful conversation with the most charming man. We learned that David and his wife, Rachel, had retired from their business in California and moved to Tennessee. We also learned that he and his wife had been married over 50 years and they were both missionary kids who’d lived in Africa.
When David discovered Paul was an estate-planning attorney licensed in both California and Tennessee he wanted his card. “I need to update our Trust. Can I give you a call?”
Paul and I left in the hopes of our meeting up again.
A Few Weeks Later
We met again at the coffee house. This time David brought his wife Rachel. While Paul met to discuss business, within minutes we learned their daughter was a friend of mine who’d come to a summer Bible study in our home.
Estate planning was forgotten while David shared about all the people he’d been loving on in this tiny community. It was crystal clear this former “missionary kid” had chosen his new “mission field” and we were sitting smack-dab in the middle of it.
David chattered on about the business owners in the town square he called his friends. He loved their willingness to listen to him share about his love of Jesus.
Eventually we made our way back to the business at hand.
David finished explaining what he wanted done with his estate and Paul answered their questions, finally explaining what was left to do on their end, David smiled, “Okay, well, we are going to be in California soon, but when I get back we’ll finish this up.” He grinned again.
A couple weeks later, I saw on social media that my friend, Rebecca, (David’s daughter), was flying out to California. She was reaching out for prayer for her father.
Our new friend was in the hospital.
I ran in to Paul’s office to tell him to be praying, but before the next day was through–David was gone.
I told Paul, “I feel like we’ve been cheated. I mean, we just met him.” Paul felt terrible, too.
Weeks passed. Over dinner Paul shared, “I’m meeting with Rachel in the morning and I need you to come along as a witness when she signs her Trust.” It would be a bittersweet meeting this time, not the joyful one we’d shared over coffee weeks before.
When we arrived in Rachel’s home her daughter Rebecca greeted us. What a blessing it was for Rachel to have her daughter Rebecca so close and her happy and busy grandson underfoot. How can you stay sad when an adorable grandchild is around?
China on the Wall
We sat around the kitchen table and learned more about David’s memorial and how over nine hundred people were in attendance–even his pastor from Tennessee flew out for it. What a testimony to the legacy of this man.
We heard about all the ways God paved the way for David to make these days as smooth as possible for his wife. A dozen tiny miracles to encourage her while they’re apart.
When we got up to leave I walked over to the kitchen sink to put away my water glass. Three China plates on the wall caught my attention. Edged in red with bright flowers in the center, they looked familiar. I asked Rachel, “Are these plates special?”
“Yes, they were my grandmothers’ China.”
“Rachel, you have a whole set of your Grandma’s China?”
“No, these three plates are all I have.”
“I could swear I have a few of these myself. I’ll have to go home and check.” I wondered. The odds were incredibly slim, but I snapped a few photos to take with me just in case.
We said our goodbyes and to be honest, I got busy and forgot to check on those plates. But, something triggered my promise and I went to my cupboard and pulled out my own three red plates.I’d purchased them at a Goodwill in California over a dozen years ago.
My three plates hung on the wall in my kitchen for years, too. All of my children knew these plates well. Except these plates had no special value besides their lovely color and ability to add a little decor to this part of our house.
When I compared my photo of Rachel’s plates to my own I discovered these were the very same ones.
I had THREE of the very plates from Rachel’s grandmother’s China pattern.
My three China plates purchased in Cameron Park, California years ago, then packed and taken 2300 miles to our new home in Tennessee were for such a time as this.
They were meant for Rachel all along.
Is Christmas painful this year? Each time you wonder if God sees or knows what you’re going through, remember this. He loves to navigate the impossible to remind His kids they’re loved.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39
The fun begins January 26th!
Raising Great Kids – Online Bible Study
- Weekly Giveaways
- Tools to Make Parenting Easier
- Scripture Printables
- Special Guests To Answer Your Questions Each Week
- Private Facebook Group for Personal Encouragement
- Google Chat LIVE weekly with Joanne Kraft, author of The Mean Mom’s Guide to Raising Great Kids.
The FUN begins January 26th!
Joanne Kraft is a frequent guest on Focus on the Family and Family Life Today. Joanne is the author of The Mean Mom’s Guide to Raising Great Kids. She’d be the first to tell you she has four kids who are great – most of the time.