RIGHT TIME & PLACE

RIGHT TIME & PLACE

 

Black Watch by Taiyo FUII Creative Commons   Flickr.com

Black Watch by Taiyo FUII Creative Commons   Flickr.com

          Like Sandy and me, Lee Smith and his lovely wife, Lucille were fairly new members at Ancient City Baptist Church. They had bought a small jewelry store in downtownSt. Augustine, Florida. They invited us for dinner one night and we were excited to get to know them.

          Ever since arriving in St. Augustine we had become aware that not everyone at the church was jumping for joy at our presence. We didn't know why so we were eager to make some new friends. The Smiths were the second couple that had reached out to us in past few months. It would be hard for them to compete with our first meal, the best fried catfish and hush puppies this side of the Mason Dixon Line!

The evening went better than we expected. They took us out to eat at a special seafood place called The Santa Maria Restaurant which was way out in the middle of the Matanza Bay. We threw our few left overs out the window to the fish below! The grey haired couple made us feel very special and they were interested in the deaf and blind ministry. Their kids were grown and gone and we were 900 miles away from our families, so we quickly became good friends.

 

SANTA MARIA RESTAURANT BY PAUL ADONIS HUNTERCREATIVECOMMONSFLICKR.COM

SANTA MARIA RESTAURANT BY PAUL ADONIS HUNTERCREATIVECOMMONSFLICKR.COM

          “Kathy, I noticed you don't wear a watch,” Lee said while we ate dessert back at their home. “Do you not like wearing a watch?”

           “I had a good, wind up watch for over ten years but it stopped working a while back," I said. I didn't tell him I couldn't afford to buy one.

           “Oh, I see,” Lee said. “I guess you know I own a small jewelry store and I fix used watches. I have a couple of lady’s watches all ready fixed if you want to look at them. I wouldn’t charge you anything.”

          “Sure!” I said, feeling blessed to know a generous watchsmith. “I’d love to see them!” Lee's thoughtfulness touched a tender spot beneath my pride. I turned away to wipe the dampness from my eyes hoping he didn’t notice. When we first moved to Florida a church couple down the street gave us their old sweeper. I was thrilled until I tried to use it and understood why it was out in their garage sale. I had a good feeling that I wouldn't be disappointed with Lee's watch!

           During our short drive home that night I realized that my heart was bursting with so much warmth and love. The dinner was so delicious but the conversation was personal with this couple's caring words just when I needed some encouragement. The Lord had sent Sandy and me two guardian angels disguised as human beings.

          God knew what lay ahead... and that we would need this couple's support.

           A few days later I picked out my first, battery watch. It had a black face with gold slits for numbers and a thin, black band. I loved it! After I put the watch on my wrist and thanked Mr. Smith, he asked me if I would like to work part-time at his jewelry store two or three days a week! I couldn't imagine myself selling jewelry but money signs went off in my head. Sandy spoke up and said it was up to me if I wanted to work.

          I loved working at Voss Jewelry store! Lee’s full-time employee, Helen, was so nice and she showed me all the ropes. I learned how to change watch batteries, engrave jewelry, decorate the window, and change watch bands. The extra money helped us out so much that I spent more than my lunch time next door at the lady’s apparel shop. Plus, I learned about yellow gold vs. white gold, diamonds vs. diamonique, and gemstones. I even got my ears pieced!

ST.GEORGE ST., ST. AUGUSTINE BY JON DAWSON CREATIVE COMMONS    FLICKR

ST.GEORGE ST., ST. AUGUSTINE BY JON DAWSON CREATIVE COMMONS    FLICKR

           Sandy’s parents flew out from New Mexico to visit us for a week. Sandy enjoyed showing them around the enchanted city while I worked at the Voss Jewelers. They liked visiting the fort, the deaf school, the church, eating at Osteen's Shrimp place, Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum, and especially St. George Street with the homemade fudge, sugar cookies and the unique shops.

          While Sandy and his mother waited, his father tried on suits in a store on St. George Street. Dr. Storrie learned from his late Scottish mother how to use his time wisely by sharing the gospel with strangers. By the time the suit was packaged the elderly employee had asked the Lord Jesus to forgive his sin and had invited Jesus Christ into his heart!

CASTILLO (FORT) de SAN MARCO PHOTO BY G.CHRIS CLARK CREATIVE COMMONSFLICKR

CASTILLO (FORT) de SAN MARCO PHOTO BY G.CHRIS CLARK CREATIVE COMMONSFLICKR

          Our new neighbor, Virginia, had gone from a life of riches and world travels to a tiny apartment next door and no car. The stories of her past, glory days were interesting but mostly unbelievable. Dr. Storrie was more interested in the elderly lady’s lost soul so within an hour he was leading her away from the path to Hell to the path of Heaven! Virginia was so drunk in the Holy Spirit she floated back and forth from her apartment to ours for days. She had had three husbands and now she had found her fourth and last husband of her soul.

          “I don’t mean to bother you but I have to share this with you,” Virginia said. “One, two, three! God the Father! God the Son! God the Holy Spirit! Three in One!”

          I bobbed my head up and down and said, “That’s right, Virginia! Three means Trinity!”

          A half hour later, here she’d come again. Outside the screen door she stood, holding up three fingers one at a time and only mouthing the word: Trinity.

THREE FINGERS BY TIA_INSPIRATIVA  CREATIVE COMMONSFLICKR.COM

THREE FINGERS BY TIA_INSPIRATIVA  CREATIVE COMMONSFLICKR.COM

          After Sandy’s folks flew back to New Mexico, Virginia became worse. She would knock on our door and hold up a finger for every word she said. We told her she needed help and could we call the paramedics to come take her to the hospital. She said, “Please tell them NO SIRENS!” They honored her wishes and came quietly down Schallers Road. After being in the hospital for a while, Virginia was released to a nice nursing home. She called me to meet her for lunch one day a year later; she was bright and alert again just like she was before she got sick. Within a year she died and went t be with her LORD!

           I thought God had brought us to Florida to only help the deaf and the blind, but He had other people in mind, too. God wanted us here so Sandy's daddy would come visit and win two people in their eighties to the Lord before they died. It felt good to be obedient to the Lord and be in the right place at the right time!

 

          We have all been in the right place at the right time to help somebody. Do you remember yours? God loves using our hands, our feet and our heart to help others. God puts people in our path to help us, and he puts you in other people’s path to help them. God is all about weaving His Son together with people at the right time and place for a blessing or a miracle or best of all, for a salvation!

          Jesus summarized the 10 Commandments into 2 Commandments:

Mark 12: 30-31

{30] And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
[31] And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. 

Share when somebody was there for you at the right time? Or, when you were there at the right time for someone.