May 18, 2020 by Pastor Kevin Van Wyhe
I wasn’t sure how to respond to what I had just heard. I was caught in an awkward moment not knowing how I should respond. It was more than the fact that this would be unsafe in the current environment with social distancing, it just seemed inappropriate. Over the many years of visiting with people, I cannot recall ever having these words voiced to me. “Would you like a kiss?”
Yes, you read that correctly. There in the garage of one of our precious retirees, I had to take a moment of pause to formulate my response to this most interesting question.
I had been delivering DVDs of our worship services to Caroline every Friday afternoon. Through an open screen door in her garage and over the phone, we have been able to share a bit of life with each other over these past couple of months. What a blessing it has been to talk with her with and discover a little of who she is. If it wasn’t for this virus, these meaningful interactions would never have taken place.
As I stumbled for the right words there in her garage, Caroline began to slowly reach her clenched hand through the opening in the door. With a mischievous grin on her face, she slowly began to reveal the small silver-wrapped object as she loosened her grip and opened up her hand. Immediately, a full smile of satisfaction broke across her face. She had completely fooled me and she knew it. There in the hand of one who had lived many more years than I, was a chocolate Hershey’s Kiss.
After we both laughed and I was back in my car headed to the next elderly member to deliver another DVD, I couldn’t help but reflect on that interesting moment. It was a fun little prank that would never have taken place between two strangers. It was only an exchange that would be found between two people who call each other friends. Even now I smile at this unexpected moment that took place in a garage that Friday.
Over the past 2 plus months, I have been blessed by many unexpected moments. On my Friday, afternoon DVD delivery route, I have made some very special friends.
I very much look forward to catching up with Bill on his daily adventures with his yard and hearing about his life with Candace.
To see Coby and Scotty and their little dogs.
To sit in the garage and share fishing and cooking stories with Jim.
To see the joy on Myrna’s face as she has someone to talk with.
To discover the many books that Bob is reading while Diane is out driving around.
Not only at church have I experienced some of these unexpected moments. We currently have our 3 kids and our daughter-in-law living under our roof. We share daily meals, conversations, games, and extended time together.
Right now I am in the midst of building a kitchen table with my daughter-in-law Megan, who I would never have gotten to know in the same way if it wasn’t for this virus. These unexpected moments are actually huge blessings in the midst of some very trying times.
God’s word also reveals some very unexpected moments in the midst of a world plagued with sin and pain that brings us huge blessings today. How unexpected it must have been that the Son of God would be born to a virgin in a cattle stall? How unlikely it surely felt that this miracle worker would have grown up as a carpenter’s son? How unimaginable the people must have thought that the promised Messiah, the Savior of the world, would ride into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey?
However, the most unexpected moment is this; that the God of the Universe, the Creator of the world, the one who spoke everything into being, would send His only son to ultimately die on a cross in our place so we could one day be with Him in eternity.
Romans 5:8 says it perfectly and shows how unexpected this act of Love truly is for us.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
While we were still sinners. While we were still rebelling against God. While we were pushing Him away and telling Him we didn’t want Him in our lives, he showed us the ultimate act of love and sacrifice. He showed us that, though we certainly did not deserve it, his love for us was more than we could comprehend.
In this season of many unexpected moments, some good and others challenging, may we remember the unexpected love of our heavenly father. May we remember and celebrate the fact that we can have a relationship with the God of the Universe through the great gift of His son Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Thank you Father for giving us the unexpected gift of your Son. Thank you for the joy we can have in having a relationship with you. Thank you for seeing past our sin and brokenness and loving us anyway. Thank you for always being there and caring for us as your precious children. Amen