Birthday on the beach. Just seeing those words in print makes me smile. I was raised in Illinois near the Wabash River, but I feel connected to the ocean. Something deep within me rises up to rejoice when I experience the waves and the roar.
So of course I replied “Yes!” when my friend Cathi invited me to spend my birthday on the beach. The morning of May 2nd we spread our blankets on the white sand at New Smyrna. There were only two people as far as the eye could see: Cathi and me. An hour passed before another human being appeared.
I watched him come over the dunes with his seven children following behind like proverbial little ducklings. When I smiled he said, “Yes, they’re all mine. And my wife is back at the house with the baby.” The children ran in to the ocean with joyful glee. Cathi and I watched scene after scene that confirmed this family was something special.
“Excuse me, but I just have to tell you that your family is a delight to watch.”
“Well, you caught them on a good day,” he said with a wink, “but my wife and I try to raise them to love God and love others.”
He explained that he and his wife had become Christians at a nearby church. He mentioned they’ve been involved in many mission trips.
“Really! God has just launched me on a new adventure. I’m going to Romania July 9th.”
“I love Romania! We’ve been lots of places in the world, but Romania is our favorite.”
Seriously? Only three adults anywhere in sight, and two of them are connected to Romania?
He was amazed to hear how God opened the door for me to work with the elderly in need. Because he’s been to Romania, it was easy for him to visualize the dozens of formerly homeless elderly who are now living in makeshift nursing homes in Dumbrava.
When he gave me his email address so we can stay in touch, my heart overflowed with gratitude to receive such a confirmation, such a “God Kiss.” And who knows what may come of that seashore surprise?
What are the odds of that happening? There are over six billion people in the world yet God purposefully placed Josh and his family on my birthday beach. Some would say, “That was serendipitous.” But I know better: it was Spiritipidous!
“I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources God will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit” (Ephesians 3:16 NLT).
Kim Jackson is a writer and speaker living in Concord, North Carolina. You can read about her latest God-Venture at Elder Orphan Care.
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