Groundhog Day! It was no surprise that both Punxsutawney Phil and Rita Blanca Rocky agreed there would be six more weeks of winter. I don’t know Phil, but Rocky is a sensible little fella and smart enough to run back inside to snuggle himself down for a nap when presented with the alternative; unbelievable piles of snow!
Groundhog Day also happens to be the birthday of my spinster Aunt from Michigan, and though she is now deceased, I still think of her on that day and remember fondly time spent with her while growing up. That morning, I was sipping a “cup of Joe,” while gazing out the window at the winter wonderland Michigan style, when the phone rang!
It was the familiar voice of my sister, Jan, in Michigan. “Hi,” she began. “What are you doing on Saturday? Could you go to Amarillo?”
She certainly perked my attention! I assured her it all depended on the weather and questioned why she would want me to go there. “You are going to get a surprise!” she squealed. “I need you to meet someone in Amarillo. Say you will.” She begged.
Her exciting surprise spilled out as she told me a story that neither of us could have dreamed up. A friend had been doing some painting in Jan’s house and his wife came over to “check out” his progress. Sitting in my sister’s dining room was a tall, ornate chest that interested the lady. She commented on it and my sister shared the information that it actually belonged to me, her sister. It was left to me by that special spinster Aunt, several years ago, and Jan had no idea how I would ever get it home.
When the lady discovered where we lived, she offered to deliver the treasure as they passed though Amarillo on Saturday! All the arrangements were made and at precisely 4:00 p.m. we meet total strangers in the parking lot of Cracker Barrel to retrieve a surprise that would mean very little to anyone but me.
The Michigan couple, headed to Phoenix, endured snow, icy roads and even some time in a ditch on their way to Amarillo! We shook hands as strangers and parted hugging as friends. Tim and Beth share not only that special love we have for Jan and Lewis, but our love of Jesus. It was His love that caused them to go out of their way to deliver my gift. Today, it sits in my house; many miles away from Michigan. I am richer for the experience; an experience that taught me to expect the unexpected. I will be looking for an opportunity to “pay it forward!” (More to be said on that subject next week!)