Old Grandpa Lloyd with VBF Norma
I’m possessed of a mind that compels me to ponder why things happen. Very best friend Norma calls it The Plan. I prefer mosaic of providence but I don’t argue. Norma regularly invites me for supper and I learned long ago to keep the cook happy.
The Plan came to mind Sunday as I sat in church watching widows—you do that when you’re 90. I once watched girls, but they are either dead or widows, who vastly outnumber widowers. How come I am still around?
Last week I found a hint. Son Keith drove me to Iron River, Michigan to meet a young widow named Debbie. She calls me Pastor Dad. We met online a year ago. Mike and Arlene Rucinski gave her Hole News posts and she liked what she read. Debbie was a new Christian with little background in the faith. She sought confidential conversation as she worked through the loss of her husband and issues common to all new believers. Our email exchange grew into warm friendship and I set up a time to meet her at Mike and Arlene’s Iron River home.
I first met Arlene and Mike in 1948 when I became their pastor at Iron River’s First Baptist Church. They were 15; I was 25. How they have aged! I married them in 1953.
Following an extended business career, they began and a long pastorate at Crystal Falls, Michigan and upon retirement retired to city and church of their youth. There, in the depth of distress, Debbie found Christ and supportive friends, including Mike and Arlene. We visited long and warmly in the Rucinski home.
As Keith and I drove homeward on U.S. 2, I remembered hitchhiking that route to Iron River 66 years before. I had no car or bus fare. First Baptist called me and we moved into the parsonage.
I remembered the youth group–best I ever had–Mike and Arlene among them. Five from the group subscribe to the Hole News.
I remembered the group email I sent to family as Elsie faded, never imagining it would grow into a blog with three hundred subscribers. By and by, the Hole News would move a hurting friend of Mike and Arlene to turn to me for comfort and counsel.
The mosaic of providence—better known as The Plan—is ever present.
Old Grandpa Lloyd