Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Thanks to a Mysterious Stranger

Last weekend Suzanne and I made a fast trip to D.C. to see Sam and to meet all the fine people who have given our son such a wonderful summer as a ministry intern. We were so pleased to attend worship at First Baptist Church of Washington, D.C. and hear Sam preach in that great historic church. What a warm and gracious congregation. Dr. Langley was a mentor to Sam, Lon was a buddy, Deborah supplied some orientation and teaching, Jean was a great co-worker in the office, and Charlotte provided room and board with grace and motherly care. And countless others came alongside Sam in friendship and encouragement. And of course, we are deeply grateful to each one for taking an interest in our young son so far from home.

But one man was missing, the one person who made this whole summer internship happen for Sam was gone to Scotland by the time we made it to Washington. Dr. Dennis Lambert, whom we have never met, took it upon himself to bring this all to pass, and I regret very much not being able to meet him and thank him personally. I guess I'll have settle for a letter for now.

It reminded me a little of the old westerns, where a mysterious stranger rides in and rallies the townspeople and rescues the heroin and saves the day. But finally when it's time to say thanks or at least find out who this mysterious stranger really is, he's gone, riding off into the sunset. Clint Eastwood made a career out of that plot. And what about the Lone Ranger? How many times did we hear someone say, "Who was that masked man?"

So, here's a question for you. Have you ever had a moment in your life when a stranger did some act of kindness for you or your family and then was gone, off into the sunset, without you even knowing who they were or being able to say thanks? I'll bet we all have, at one time or another, been blessed by some mysterious stranger. Someone helped you change a tire in a storm or brought some unexpected help or gave some life changing advice or kept you from making a big mistake. I'm asking you, "Who was that masked man?" Perhaps one way to say a tardy thanks to them is to tell their story now. What about you?

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