By The Rev. Tony Marciano
When I was a kid, I swam underwater more than on top of it. To this day, I am more at home below the surface than above it.
With that in mind, you can understand that one of my life goals has been to swim in blue water. I was considering the Gulf Coast of Florida. My wife and I would go the last week in June. Every time I went to make the reservation, something said to me, “Don’t go.” I put it on hold.
Months went by and I was concerned I wouldn’t find a place to stay. I contacted a friend who told me about a spot on the Gulf Coast that was beautiful. He raved about the experience he and his family had there. He even told me what community to rent a home. But again, as I got closer to making those reservations, something told me not to go.
Months later I was running out of time. Would I fly or drive? I looked at various airlines while comparing the costs of renting a car vs. driving there. Again, there was that still small voice that said, “Don’t go.”
At the same time, a church asked me to preach the Sunday of my vacation. I agreed. We would leave right after church. But again, that quiet voice said, “Don’t go.”
A week before my vacation, I learned my son-in-law needed gallbladder surgery. We didn’t know what day he would be scheduled for surgery. Let me tell you how the week unfolded.
Someone asked my wife to be friends on Facebook. Through that connection, I learned his wife had a heart attack on Friday night. Saturday of my vacation I am at the hospital, comforting her and her husband. I also learned that their niece died in a car wreck two nights before.
Sunday night, our church had an ice cream social for baby boomers. At the last minute, I was asked to speak.
Monday, we went to the zoo. We almost didn’t make it. My middle sister was scheduled to come to my house and watch my mother who has Alzheimer’s (she lives with me). As she was leaving her driveway in Virginia, her car broke down. She had to borrow someone else’s car to come. Also, I messed up the schedule for watching my mother. My older sister thought she was leaving Monday at 11 a.m. and not 7 p.m. She agreed to stay longer. My middle sister wouldn’t arrive until Tuesday afternoon. My son-in-law was scheduled for surgery very early Tuesday morning. We planned to stay overnight at his house. Now, neither sister was available to watch my mother overnight.
I agreed to stay with my mother on Monday night while my wife slept over my son-in-law’s house the night before the surgery. When the home health aide arrived at 10 a.m., I left for the hospital.
One more thing, Wednesday we had a staff appreciation event. I couldn’t have gone to Florida and missed it.
Here is the question. Explain to me how six months before that last week in June, God knew that my friend would have a heart attack, her niece would get killed in an accident, my son-in-law would have surgery on Tuesday, my sister’s car would break down, I would mess up the schedule for caring for my mother and we would have a staff appreciation event on Wednesday?
Explain it to me. Maybe I’m not supposed to understand it. Instead, I am called to walk by faith and not by sight.
I’ll be back in two weeks. Until then, live well my friend.
The Rev. Tony Marciano is the president/CEO of the Charlotte Rescue Mission. He is available to speak to your group. Visit to www.charlotterescuemission.org for details.