I walk into the familiar orthodontic office with my silver-wired-toothed child. Yesterday was long and late. The alarm clock’s piercing music rudely arrived early. My eyes barely open. My hair barely combed. My makeup done in the semi-dark.
And right dab in front of me is a dear one. One of those heart friends that just gets you. We do the quick: “How are you?” “Fine.” “Fun to see you here.” “It’s early, huh?” “Yeah.” interaction before I notice. It’s almost as if dumbbells are pushing down on her shoulders.
Before I say a thing, she starts.
“Can I ask you to pray for me today? I woke up at 2am and couldn’t sleep. I’m on a verge of a panic attack.”
She continues to share with me what’s going on in her world. Tears pool. Patients come in and out of the front door, but it seems we’re the only two around. She apologizes for dumping on me. I thank her for being real. This moment won’t appear for the world to see. Private. Confidential. Sacred.
“I don’t think it’s a coincidence we’re both right here in this same place at the same time,” I say.
I mean it with all of my heart.
Divine moments. Do we miss them too often? Or do we overlook them as chance and miss the deeper significance?
The dental assistant beckons her to talk to the orthodontist.
I sit back in my chair.
I think about the privilege we have to bring our friends to Jesus. To lift the dumbbells off their shoulders and help carry the burden. Luke 5 shares a story about the friends of a sick man who lowered him through a roof to get to Jesus. Jesus healed the man because of his friends’ faith.
Stepping in and coming alongside our friends in their times of need are sometimes the greatest opportunity for our own faith to grow.
A few minutes later we head out the door, and I text my friend: “Thank you for sharing this morning and thankful for our little divine encounter. Praying for Jesus to surround you in mighty ways today.”
She writes back: “I just told my son how amazing our God is in arranging that today!”
My faith grew at 7:20am in the middle of a dental office thanks to my friend bold enough to be vulnerable.