From feeling out of place to finding a new friend.
Posted in , Nov 3, 2015
You never know how God’s going to use something small to lead you to something big.
Take an incident that happened to me earlier this year. As you might recall, my parents were born in southeastern Turkey, but technically we’re Syriac, i.e. an Aramaic-speaking minority descended from some of the first Christians in the Middle East. In the February 2015 issue of Guideposts, I wrote about my family’s heritage–how we’re sort of an unknown people–in a story called “The Lord’s Words”.
Boy was I in for a surprise! After the February issue came out, I received letters from people in response to the article. One reader wrote to say her son was studying the Syriac dialect of Aramaic all the way in Waco, Texas! Another reader sent me a postcard with the Lord’s Prayer written in Syriac–something she just happened to get on a recent trip to Israel.
And then there was the letter from Gladys.
“I am a longtime subscriber to Guideposts,” Gladys wrote. “Your article ‘The Lord’s Words’ in the Feb. issue is beautiful and inspiring to say the least…maybe mysterious ways is more like it!”
You see, Gladys knew all about the Syriac people and language. As it turned out, her priest and close friend, Dr. Joseph J. Palackal, was actively involved in preserving the Syriac language and music through a program called The Aramaic Project.
Of course, I was delighted to connect with someone who knew so much about my culture. But God had even more wonder up his sleeve.
I wrote Gladys back and, quite unexpectedly, we struck up a friendship! Every so often, I’d come into work and find a colorful envelope waiting for me in my mailbox. One of Gladys’ beautiful handmade cards. After all, she taught elementary school for 50 years–she knows a thing or two about crafts! We chat on the phone now and then, too, like we’ve known each other for years. Kindred spirits, I like to say.
Isn’t it amazing? How God used a simple story–one where I confessed to feeling unknown and out of place–to make the world feel not so very big?
Mysterious ways, indeed
Has God ever led you to a friend unexpectedly? Share your miracle below!