Occupational health-care conferees, mostly doctors and nurses, hastily negotiated their way through the crowded facilities at the San Francisco Convention Center. Immersed in this swirling mass of humanity stood a tiny five-foot three-inch mother fulfilling her deepest joy as traveling companion to her middle-aged daughter, an Occupational Health-Care Specialist (COHN-S) from the Midwest.
While daughter filled her days with bell to bell conferences, Mother stood in lines, collected available print-outs, picked up freebie’s, prepared refreshment breaks and arranged for restful solitude on breaks. She inspected favorite meal sites, pre-arranged meals with proper diets that allowed for pleasurable escape moments. In general she helped maximize the daylight-to-dusk melee of classes, convention sights, display booths, and tourist specialties.
Two-thousand miles from home, mother and daughter quietly and efficiently absorbed conferences, classes, casual encounters, hand-outs, and “giveaways,” intentionally seasoned with sprinkling of tourism tossed in, but this was hardly new to this female combination; they had been a bonded twosome almost from the premature birth, the mother’s first live birth after five pregnancies.
“Mama” still remembers when the head nurse of that neonatal unit informed her rather candidly that she need not get too attached to that baby because “you’ll never raise her!” That had launched a long journey in which this mother had committed herself to THE ALMIGHTY if he would but enable her to raise her baby; she would do whatever she needed to do and she had kept her word with diligence.
Decades later, she had faithfully reared the two children God gave her; she had diligently and patiently nurtured her often critically ill asthmatic first-born into her adult years. Now, they were enjoying some of the more pleasant benefits side of their long relationship as she accompanied her daughter-nurse to medical conferences in such tourist towns as Boston, New Orleans, and San Francisco.
In San Francisco, not far from where she and her pastor husband had formerly pastored a church, she found herself amid a swirl of unknown humanity. It came as a huge surprise to her when someone walked up from behind her and laid a discreet arm on her shoulder. Turning her head, she found herself staring eyeball to eyeball with a stranger she had never met, although she knew full well who he was.
She had observed him passing through the crowd numerous times. One could hardly miss him with his entourage trailing close behind. She recognized him from reading his books and seeing him in the news repeatedly. Only this time, the gentle, soft-spoken, handsome black man stood momentarily parked, silently and physically blocking the forward movement of this small-statured Irish Cherokee from Oklahoma.
Looking directly into the eyes of the little lady with whom he had exchanged glances of acknowledgement several times during the day from a distance, the noted Neurosurgeon spoke softly and very privately said, “I’m glad I’m one of God’s children; aren’t you?”
With eyes locked momentarily, each soundlessly acknowledged and affirmed the other. It was one of those holy moments Christians occasionally experience, when two strangers otherwise unknown to each other, recognize that they share a common bond in that spirit world in which each knows they are standing in the presence of the ULTIMATE SPIRITUAL PRESENCE who inhabits all of God’s children.
Ever sensitive to the Creator who calls us to give Him our supreme devotion and to share with others the devotion and respect we would like for ourselves; she later described to me something of her fleeting encounter with Dr. Ben Carson, a spiritual giant many recognize as a man of deep faith.
Dr. Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon, the man with the “Gifted Hands”, once a ghetto kid in Detroit, MI, has now retired from Johns Hopkins and turned his attention to the internal problems of our nation. He is making a serious bid for the office of President of the United States. I don’t know if I will vote for him, for I frequently disagree with some of his political solutions, but I watch and admire him as the news media follows him.
One thing I do know, while I sincerely respect a few others on the political spectrum, there is no other single individual on our presidential horizon whose personal integrity and Christian character I would trust more than Dr. Ben Carson. Issues will bring variety of opinion and differing views, but those are not always what is most important, for if you can trust an individual, you can generally live with the differences of opinion that happen quite naturally.
A little-known song writer took heart from Paul’s suggestion that “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Romans 8:16). Encouraged, that writer took pen in hand and began writing:
Praise the Lord! My heart with His love is beaming,
I am a child of God;
Heaven’s golden light over me is streaming,
I am a child of God
Let a holy life tell the gospel story,
I am a child of God;
How He fills the soul with His grace and glory,
I am a child of God.
Barney E. Warren/A Child of God/Worship His Majesty/Gaither Music Co./1987/p. 557.
Events like this do not happen to my wife every day but I have learned across several decades that she has a certain sensitivity (discernment, if you will) that makes experiences like this not common place, but not out of the ordinary either. It is not at all unusual for two Christians to be strangers in a crowd and find each other as fellow disciples of Jesus. There is a knitting of spirits!
How much better it would be if only our world could rediscover the rich love and rewarding respect that comes with sharing life with God as children of God. Perhaps then our world could find its way out of the deep morass of distrust, disrespect, and disillusionment, in which it finds itself. From Warner’s World, I am