A friend of mine posted the details of a recent experience she had, and the story was so heartwarming and uplifting – not to mention perfect during the holiday season – I knew I had to share it with others. I told her I wanted to write about it, and she graciously gave me her permission.

The story ended with someone’s prayer being answered. And it started a few miles away from a home improvement store. That’s where my friend first drove past an elderly, tired-looking man who had just been to the store, and was now lugging two heavy bags with him as he walked.

After driving about 20 yards and watching the man in her rear-view mirror, my friend decided to stop and ask if he needed a ride. He did, and was grateful to be offered one. It was starting to get dark, and the temperature was about ten degrees above freezing.

It turned out that the man had walked the three miles from his home to the store, but had gotten turned around and disoriented when he came back outside. Not only was he nowhere near his home, but he was walking in the wrong direction. After my friend dropped him off at his front door, she drove away shuddering at the thought of how tragically this story could have ended for him.

Instead, it had a happy ending. But that’s not even the most inspiring or intriguing part of the story.

Even though this incident took place not far from where my friend lives, she had never driven on this particular road before. And she was there that day and at that time only because of an odd set of circumstances.

She had been at a meeting of her writers’ group, but had to leave early in order to conduct an interview with someone at a location 25 miles away from the meeting, but not far from her house. When she arrived for the interview, her subject was answering all the interview questions online, so it turned out that my friend hadn’t really needed to leave her meeting early, and hadn’t even needed to meet in person with the person she was supposed to interview.

As she was driving home from there, she found herself wondering what the point of the whole day had been. And that’s when she came upon the man who had gotten lost while walking home from the store.

I’m pretty sure that my friend was, indeed, the answer to his prayer. But the truth is that neither she nor I has any idea if the man had actually prayed for help or not. The answered prayer I referred to earlier wasn’t the man’s prayer, it was my friend’s. When she posted the story, she mentioned that the day before this incident happened, she had prayed that she would become aware of opportunities to serve God. She had asked Him to wake her up to the needs of others. And to ways in which she could help them.

It looks to me like that’s exactly what happened – which makes it a perfect story in this season of peace. Of prayer. And of miracles.

The column “Find Your Buried Treasure” appears weekly in the Chanhassen (MN) Villager. This column was published on December 17, 2015.
©Betty Liedtke, 2015

Do you have a holiday “Answer to a Prayer” story? I’d love to hear it! Please be aware, however, that all comments will be moderated and approved before appearing on this blog, in order to protect all of us from unwanted spam.