After breakfast when Buddy started circling my feet I knew he was hoping a walk was in the plan. It’s hard to say no to his bearded face but I wanted to. I’d woken up exhausted.
The boys noticed it. When Luke asked me how I’d slept I said, “Not very well.”
“Why?” he asked.
“I have a lot on my mind,” I said.
“Are you worried about something?”
“What?” he asked.
A wide-eyed silence fell between us while he decided if he wanted to ask another question. Laying out the placemats and silverware he opted to go for it while I prayed for the right words to surface.
“You want the truth or the standard mom response?” I asked.
I knew this was a set-up because he never wants the canned answer. He’s too curious.
“Give me the truth,” he said.
What followed was an explanation of how I feel like he’s come under the influence of a group of people that care nothing about him and are exploiting him for their gain.
“It’s not just me Luke—your whole family is worried. We feel like the Luke we used to know, before you got involved in this venture, is a distant memory.”
You could see his heart flinch.
“I haven’t changed Mom I just have different priorities.”
“And those are changing you,” I said. “Your whole life is consumed by this.”
“Well I don’t want all of you to be worried,” he said.
I told him I knew worrying folks wasn’t his goal. However, I think he’s the victim of a business that subconsciously programs him to reject his families’ good advice—labeling us as “haters” when we disagree with their practices.
His well trained response, “I’m sorry you feel that way.”
I started praying the minute we hit the pavement. A couple blocks from the house endorphins pumping I felt somewhat hopeful. My spirits were buoyed more when I spotted a penny in the middle of the street as I asked God to give me a stout heart for the day.
Picking it up I had to believe He would do just that. I tucked it in my pocket thankful for the assurance. I assumed God had said all I needed to hear and I was good with it. To hope for more encouragement felt like a lack of faith.
Buddy and I kept walking while I prayed through my list. By this time I was so engrossed in my conversation with God I lost track of where we were when something extremely large almost knocked me off my feet.
It was a boat parked partially on the sidewalk to keep it from sticking too far out into the street. Startled I took several steps backward to get my bearings when I realized it was “thee boat” and I was in front of the “thee house” where I first started finding pennies seven years ago.
On that day in the middle of a hot summer it was the boat that offered me a shady spot to stop and pray for a friend who was in crisis. That’s when I found the first four pennies that started my adventure. Since then I’d only seen the boat one other time while walking and its owner was with it. I told him my story and he swore he’d had nothing to do with the pennies.
Then the word, “pontoon” embroidered on one of the seats caught my eye and I finally had my epiphany. It’s a fishing boat. Of course, because Jesus was a fisherman and nobody is better at finding drowning men than him.
My heart leapt. I’d never considered this detail in my penny story before but in hindsight it makes perfect sense. At the time I was lost and God used that boat and the smallest change possible to re-orient my perspective and in doing so taught me one of His greatest lessons. You never know what He’ll do to save you but He will save you if you want to be. It’s the business He’s in—casting and catching—restoring and renewing.
Standing in the shadow of the boat yesterday God reminded me that what He’s done for me He’ll do for Luke. Something small and seemingly insignificant to everyone else will bring about his wake-up call. With the Spirit of God in him I can be sure of that. The question isn’t when God will show up in his life it’s just what is it going to look like? Nobody cares more about the lost and exploited than He does. Not even a mother.
“You never know what events are going to transpire to get you home.” -Jim Lovell, “Lost Moon”
Now the question for me isn’t when God is going to step-in it’s just what is it going to look like?