Samuel, 6, Colombia
Sometimes I’m just going along, living my life, and suddenly God’s Timing jumps up and surprises me!
I don’t know why it’s always a surprise when it happens to me. Maybe it’s because as I get bogged down in the details of the day-to-day, it becomes easy to forget that God is working in my life. His timing is always perfect, and that doesn’t necessarily relate to our imperfect lives and world.
Regardless, it’s always a pleasant surprise when it happens.
One time, it went like this:
It was a typically relentlessly hot August afternoon. I was at home, hanging out with my kids, hiding from the afternoon sun on our couch and watching movies, waiting until the worst heat of the day had passed so we could spend the evening swimming. I heard the mailman drive past outside, and being a Compassion sponsor, I can pick out the sound of the mail truck like a mom who zeroes in on her child’s cries on a crowded playground.
Naturally, I slid on my flip flops and headed outside to check the mailbox in hopes of hearing from one of my sponsored children. The possibility of finding a cream-colored Compassion envelope in the mailbox was definitely a small price to pay for braving the desert heat.
And this time, I was rewarded for my effort! I rushed back into the house, plopped back down on the couch, enjoying the cool AC, and tore into the newest letter.
This one was from Samuel from Colombia. He was 6 years old, so his tutor at his Compassion project or his mother always helped him to write his letters. As I unfolded the letter, I was surprised to find several pages stapled together. Samuel’s letters up to this point rarely filled half a page, so I wondered what was going on.
As I began to read, I realized this was no ordinary letter. It was two full pages written by Samuel’s tutor in July, and she had some bad news to relay.
Samuel’s mother had suffered a stroke and was currently hospitalized. She suffered paralysis on her left side. And Samuel, who was living with his aunt temporarily, at the time wasn’t allowed into the hospital to see his mother for fear of upsetting him too much.
Samuel’s tutor let me know that she was picking up Samuel each day, bringing him to the Compassion project, feeding him lunch and taking him to school and back home. She also let me know that Compassion had been notified and was offering all the support and help possible.
As I took in this bad news and tried to comprehend what this all would mean to Samuel, I continued to read. I ‘d barely gotten through the explanations of his mother’s medical issues, when the letter’s tone turned thankful.
It turned out, within days of Samuel’s mother going to the hospital, the family gift I had sent to them back in May had arrived. It was only $100, but it came at a time when this woman, who already struggled to support her child, was facing a scary health problem, an unknown amount of time in the hospital and likely mounting medical bills.
Samuel’s tutor described how she and the Compassion project director visited Samuel’s mom in the hospital, and that she was able to recognize them. She said they told her about the gift, and that Samuel’s mother “expressed a faint smile of gratitude.”
And I sat there in my living room astonished that such an easy act for me, logging into my account and sending that gift to Samuel two months before, had arrived at just the right time for this family. It was clearly God’s Timing at work.
I couldn’t know in May what this single mom in Colombia would be facing in July, but God knew, and he used that simple act by one of his children in the United States to bless one of his children in Colombia at just the right time.
I’m thankful for that special glimpse of God’s Timing, and humbled that he would bless me by involving me in some small way. It occurs to me that the gift I sent in May not only helped Samuel, but it also helped me.
Receiving news like that, I definitely would have wanted to help out in any way, but what could I really do for Samuel with so many miles separating us? I could have sent a gift right away, but financial gifts generally take two months to arrive. I could send Samuel letters, cards and stickers, wishing him well and letting him know I’m praying for his mother, but again, those would take a couple of months to arrive, so would have no immediate effect.
With God’s Timing, I could rest assured that I had done all I could do, and all that was left was to pray for Samuel and his mother and leave the situation in God’s hands.