Well, how was last week? I hope it went well. Just to encourage you a bit, let me tell you about mine. This past week for me has been like a Six Degrees of Separation novel. You remember the book- its theme is we are all connected and what comes around goes around. I do know we are ALL connected in God’s Kingdom, because King Jesus is sovereign overall and working daily in our behalf.
Let me show you how he never forgets us, and never stops trying to redeem us:
Last Monday I received a phone call from a friend asking me if I would perform a brief and casual marriage for his daughter that afternoon. The daughter is a mature woman, formerly married, and now wanting to re-marry her first husband. They have been apart (with others) for many years, but now want to re-marry. I hesitated to say yes to my friend’s request because I did not know the couple, and would have normally scheduled pre-marital counselling. However, something in my spirit moved me to agree. So the date was set for last Monday afternoon.
Now, let me take you back a few years-41 years ago to be exact. I was flying on a plane from Dallas to Los Angeles. At that time, 1972, I was pastoring a church in Beverly Hills. As I walked to the back of the plane to get a magazine, a gentleman about my age, was seated near the magazine rack. I was wearing a silver chain with an Ixthus fish hanging on it. The guy seated there stopped me and asked me if the fish was a Pisces symbol. I said “No, but it is a Christian symbol.” From there, Tom Crocker and I became acquainted. We spent the two hour flight talking about life, God, and salvation. He was deeply troubled about why God allows evil and suffering. His first born son had been born with some serious physical handicaps that required many, many surgeries to correct. After much discussion, Tom prayed with me to receive Christ as his savior just as the plane began its descent into LAX.
Tom Crocker owned a costume jewelry business in Dallas. Thus his interest in the fish on the chain around my neck. In the weeks and months that followed, I had continued contact with Tom. His desire to know God and serve him grew increasingly. About two months after praying with me on the airplane, Tom flew me back to Dallas to speak to his factory employees. He wanted them to know Christ too.
Years passed and I lost contact with Tom. I did hear he became a strong believer and witnessed of his faith to many. He died about 20 years ago after a battle with cancer.
Six degrees of separation.
As I stood before the couple to be married, I scarcely knew their names. We were in a Gazebo near a small lake. Before beginning the exchange of vows, I asked them again their names. The groom said he was David Crocker. I thought about it ever so briefly then continued. It was a sweet reunion for the couple, their 13 year old son standing beside them. When the ceremony was completed, I turned to a lady next to David and he introduced her as his mother. She looked vaguely familiar. I said to David’s mom, “Have we met before?” She replied, “Yes, many years ago.” Then it became clear to me. Like a light turning on in my memory, I said, “Tom Crocker was your husband!”
Then, feeling in a daze, I turned to David and said, “Tommy Crocker was your dad?” You are that son with the physical handicap Tommy told me about.” Then without saying anything, David held up both his surgically repaired hands for me to see. He then said, “You are that preacher dad always talked about. You led him to Christ on an airplane!” Wow! What a moment!
Six degrees of Separation. What can we take away from this? Many things I am sure, but what stands out in my mind, is destiny! We are all connected to each other in God’s economy (his kingdom). He is ever working to finish what He started in us. What God began in Tom Crocker on that airplane, he is still working to complete in his family long after Tom has gone home to be with Christ. God isn’t finished with you yet either! Hang loose, He is on the prowl looking to bless you today!