My dad was killed in a motorcycle accident in August 2011. Witnesses could not tell why he lost control of his motorcycle on a smooth stretch of highway in Northern California, not far from the Oregon border. Nothing could have prepared me for that horrible moment when the coroner called my home to tell me the news. Yet when we spoke, it was as if something in my spirit recognized his spirit. When I asked him about his faith in a subsequent conversation, I was not surprised to learn that he was, indeed, a Christian. I marveled at God’s kindness in the midst of tragedy, that the last person to minister to my dad’s body—and the first person to minister comfort to my heart—was a fellow believer.
A few months later I participated in a Secret Sister ornament exchange with a group of women from all over the country. We don’t know each other personally, and are assigned to one another randomly. Along with sending an ornament we agree to pray for our “sister” throughout the month of December, knowing that another “sister” is praying for us. At the end of the season, the Secret Sisters are revealed when the chosen ornament arrives in the mail.
In addition to an ornament, my Secret Sister sent our family several beautiful pieces of petrified wood, shiny crystal Thunder Egg rocks and a basket made from kelp collected on a beach in her native state. I was so touched by God’s kindness! In His loving providence, my Secret Sister was from Oregon! She didn’t know my dad had been killed near the Oregon border just a few months before, nor could she have known that the last photos he took before the crash were scenes of the Oregon coast. I quickly emailed my new Secret Sister, filling her in on the details and exact location of my dad’s accident and letting her know that the gifts she sent would all be precious reminders to us of the last scenes my dad enjoyed on this earth, before his eyes beheld a scene of far greater beauty.
I will remember her answer as long as I live. She wrote back, “I remember reading about your father’s death in our local paper. I prayed for the family and thought about how far away they were and how complicated that would be. So before we were secret sisters I had already been praying for you, not knowing who you were. God works in mysterious ways.”
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV).
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