Sunday, April 29, 2012

Divine Intervention?

By Dave Pope

Since meeting Sunim a few days ago and relating the story of how we met to different people I've heard the comment," Divine Intervention" a few times. Lets examine that....step by step.

Step #1- Heading home and just about to reach the city limits of Kelowna I glimpsed a Costco and  CHEESE! jumped into my head. I needed some. Then I thought hey...I just ate dinner...I dont need cheese tonight....I can grab some tomorrow....bettter to get home before dark. I've always been a procrastinator, but trying to change that I stopped in and grabbed a brick of cheese. I thought I might do some snacking when I got home anyway and cheese is pretty high up on my list. It took about 10 minutes.

Step #2- Getting back out on the road I passed a Home Depot and PAINT! jumped into my head. I needed some paint for a project and thought I might do a little painting when I got home.....after some snacking. I had actually sourced the type of paint I wanted (at the Vernon Home Depot) a week earlier. I didn't buy it so that when I started the project I'd have a freshly shaken can, but really I think I was just procrastinating. It even went through my head, with the can of paint in my hand at the paint counter, that I was procrastinating. I still didn't buy it citing the freshly shaken can reasoning. I came really close to buying that can of paint.

Step#3- When I got to the paint department in the Kelowna store they couldnt find the type of paint I wanted. We searched up and down the aisles 3 times. The friendly clerk apologized stating that the store was almost closed, that she had been left alone in the department and wasnt familiar with the type of paint I wanted. I explained to her that Vernon had it so they got on the phone and called the Vernon Store and found the skew#. But no bin# and we still couldnt find it until, low and behold, it was there all along hidden behind a hanging sign that was a little askew and blocking my cans of paint on the shelf. Five minutes later I grabbed my freshly shaken can of paint and headed out to the parking lot. It took me 30 minutes to get in and out of there.

It was dark now, I try to avoid driving at night, but the highway between Kelowna and Vernon has a fair amount of lighting so I was OK with that. The stops at Costco and Home Depot had me leaving Kelowna 40 minutes later.

Just shy of Vernon, in one of the dark and unlighted stretches of highway, I glimpsed a flash of what looked like a person hunched over the wheel of a bicycle. A dangerous situation is what came to my mind. It could have been a breakdown or it could have been someone just taking a rest. Either way it was a dangerous situation becuase the last stretch of highwway leading into Vernon is unlighted and no shoulder to speak of due to curb barriers. I almost didn't see this person at reflective gear.....a dangerous situation indeed. So I turned around a few kms down the road, at a break in the center line barrier, and went back to investigate. When I pulled off the highway and got out I could tell right away that this person didnt speak fluent english. And sure enough it was a flat tire. When I offered to give him a lift into town the relief on his face was clearly evident. We loaded up his bike and his gear and off we went in search of an address he had.

Step#4 - When we got there the lights were on and a truck was in the driveway but no one answered the door as Sunim rang the bell a few times. Thinking that the bell might be broken I knocked on the door but still no answer. Maybe they were in the shower....maybe they were asleep, maybe they just didn't want to answer the door because it was late at night. So when Sunim asked about a hostel I said he was more than welcome to stay at my home and he graciously accepted.

It was during dinner that I found out he was a Monk and about the monumental test he is putting himself through. Later that night, after filling his belly and just before laying down to sleep, he quietly said that God had sent me to him. I thought about that for a  minute then asked him how long he was broken down on the side of the highway for. He looked upwards for a few secounds then replied,"40 minutes". It was the exact amount of time I had delayed my departure from Kelowna by. Had I not made those two stops? Had someone opened the door at the address Sunim got from a hostel guest in Vancouver? Had I bought that can of paint a week earlier?

I believe Sunim was right, that God did bring our paths together, and for more than just a road side rescue, a meal and a place to sleep. The next morning, as the gravity of Sunim's goals really started to sink in, ideas started forming in my head about how I could help him with his Journey Of Spirit. We were both in the kitchen, enjoying the morning sunshine after a breakfast of strawberries, grapes, apples, CHEESE, toast and coffee. I started to create this page while Sunim was working out a new route and entering addresses from my family and friends into his route computer. I was careful not to let him see what I was up to fearing he might ask me not to...then I would've abided by his wishes.  

I hope I can do right by Sunim, help him to find warm beds and hot meals through the kindness of others and I pray that the steps he takes lead him towards achieving his goals and away from danger.    

The layout of this article is based on one of my favorite Bible verses.
God directs every step we take, so how can we possibly know which direction we are headed in?
Book of Proverb

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