From where I was sitting in church on Sunday this is what I saw:
In the row ahead of me, a couple whose marriage Satan had nearly chewed up and spit out through years of pornography addiction—holding hands.
Two rows ahead of me, my son who was in jail a couple of years ago—sitting with his unchurched friend whom he brought to the worship service with him, having taught in the junior high Sunday school the hour before. Nowadays he goes to church on Friday nights and to the Wednesday night Bible study after work, running out the door with glee. He told me one of the seventh-graders in his Sunday school class told him she loves him.
Three rows in front of me, the little Bowers boy who fell out of a second story window as a toddler and was miraculously unhurt—in his father’s arms and completely whole.
To my left, a man grieving his divorce and recently bereft of his 20-year-old son through a drug overdose—in church!
Across the aisle, the “friendship class,” a motley crew of mentally handicapped men and women singing to the Lord in front row seats, one of them wielding his famous cordless mike.
Behind the “friendship class,” Joan lovingly correcting her obstreperous adult mentally retarded brother—unembarrassed, untiring, steady as an arrow.
A few rows behind her, a woman with advanced cancer who between radiation and chemo goes off to work finding temporary housing for women whose families are in crisis.
It’s time to take the offering, and there is Eric, autistic and good as a promise. He is the stalwart shopping-cart retriever at the local supermarket, and he remembers every name he’s ever heard, and says to all, “Have a blessed day!”
I was thinking of the game where you spin a quarter on the table and two people take guesses as to whether it will land on heads or tails. While the coin is still spinning, it is impossible to tell what will happen, and anybody’s guess is as good as the other’s. But surveying these brothers and sisters around me on this Sunday, all in mid-situation, all in mid-spin in their lives, some living miracles and some still awaiting miracles, I am thinking this: Don’t bet against the Lord.