I was in Texas with my military unit sometime ago before we left the country. The temperature had to be around 110 degrees and the breeze was sticky, hot. I decided to be productive and do some laundry. So I pulled out my iPhone and searched my contact list to find my mother’s number. Since cell phones came about I have had a hard time remembering phone numbers; not to mention too lazy to edit numbers as well. I just have some friends who give me a number every few months and I can’t stand to go through the protocol of taking time out of my day to change it that often.
I open the phone and scroll through few numbers I have for “Mom”. I can’t remember which one I dialed last; so I flip the coin and decide to text the first number that I see. Here’s how the conversation went.
Me: Hey mom, everything is going well. Crystal and the kids are doing fine. I made it back okay and all is well.
I wondered what took so long to get a reply as she is pretty prompt, especially when I am away from home. Then an epiphany happened.
Mom: Hi, I’m sorry, but I think that you may have the wrong number. I really do hope that you get in contact with your mother and let her know how you are doing. I lost both of my parents and I know how important it is to keep up with your mother. I picked up the phone calling her by accident the other day.
Wow. I thought. So I replied.
Me: Sorry about that. Just a soldier away from home trying to get in touch.
Mom: I know the feeling. I was deployed during OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom) 2006-7.
Me: As a Chaplain who loves to serve soldiers, thanks for your service.
Mom: Well God Bless you, sir and take care of them out there.
Me: I sure will.
Not wanting the conversation to go on any longer, I ended it there. I thought that it was kind of wild that out of all of the wrong numbers I have dialed in my life. How coincidental is it, that I dial the wrong number of a former soldier who lost their mother? Not only that, but in the same area code as my hometown? I didn’t get to see my mother before I left as she had a funeral of another loved one to attend and I was holding on to that gleam of hope that I would see her face one last time before I left the States….didn’t happen. But, God showed his face anyway. My mother was alive. In good health. And I could still call every now and again to check in. Some have lost that privilege and I was thankful. I never texted or called back that night. I just looked at the stars and took in the Texas air of what it was like that first time I left home. “Hell, I’m a pro now,” I thought to myself with my hands folded behind my neck.
Although some things are there for the most simplest of intentions, it was God that made them greater. I would be lying if I didn’t say I was a little nervous about leaving. But, that moment gave me all the reassurance in the world.”To live is Christ and to die is to gain.” At that point I died to my feelings and continued to live in His Spirit.
I hope some of you get the opportunity to experience the same.