On this day, at 12:08pm on a busy road in Houston, I gave birth to my son in the front seat of my mother-in-law's car. (I call her Mamacita; the kids called her Gwanny)
She pulled over to the side of the road when it was apparent we would not make the hospital. Out he came, I put him on my lap, and off she drove the rest of the way to the hospital. Everything turned out fine. Mycol was behind us in traffic. Missy was very excited.
Three years ago today I was in Africa on his birthday, in the 10/40 Window, Muslim territory. That was significant for me and if you read the book (when its finally out) you will see why.
Last June I was driving that same car from work on I-10 when traffic stopped up as usual, but the guy behind me wasn't paying attention. He slammed in to me so hard it bent the frame and broke my seat. The car was totaled.
Sure, its just a thing. But I don't have many things. I wanted to keep it.
So I had it towed to the house and put away in the carport.
Then in September we were visited by Ike. Ike took down the carport, leaving a heap of mess on top of the damaged car.
I knew I could not keep the car any longer, regardless what it means to me. I've had to let go of much more precious than that.
So we called the local junk yard to send a wrecker. What we didn't know was that the junk yard was recently sold to some Middle Easterners. And they don't have their own wrecker. They contract with others.
A wrecker driver came to the house. He was wearing a different looking kind of hat, was Middle Eastern, had a beard, so I asked what his religion was. "I am a Muslim."
My heart sank.
He was loading this important but smashed car onto his wrecker. Thoughts of 9/11 flew through my head as I asked myself, "How can I give this car to a Muslim?"
He handed me money for the car. It felt dirty to me and I did not want to touch it.
Mike held me close as the wrecker driver continued to secure the car.
Before he drove off, I said to Mike, "We need to pray." We went to the back porch and sat down on the steps and Mike prayed for us. He prayed specifically for that Muslim man.
I still felt dirty, or wrong, or something. I wondered if I had done something to offend God. I told Mike I cannot keep the money, but that it must go to the church.
The next day I handed over the money to the church secretary and requested it go to the orphanage in Africa. Later that afternoon, the Youth Group arrived to help us with clean-up of the hurricane damage, disassembling the carport mess and hauling off debris.
I poured out my concerns to a mom and dad of one of the members of the Youth Group. The mom said, "Linda, you are probably the only ones who have prayed for that man specifically. We don't know God's ways, but God put him in your path yesterday. Without crossing paths with him, you would never have known to pray for him, and maybe no one has ever prayed for him."
Wow. She was right. I had to look at it from God's point of view.
So today as I honor my son, with a deep ache wishing I could host a 12-year old birthday party, I would like to honor God also. I would like to ask that all my Christian friends and family pray for this Muslim man, the wrecker driver. That would be an awesome way to celebrate my son's birthday.
Our Brother in Christ, Marshall, added this:
The Holy Spirit has been pressing this verse upon me and I believe I need to share it with you. It is the entire 55th Chapter of Isaiah.
Isa 55:1 "Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
Isa 55:2 Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
Isa 55:3 Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David.
Isa 55:4 See, I have made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander of the peoples.
Isa 55:5 Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations that do not know you will hasten to you, because of the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor."
Isa 55:6 Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.
Isa 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
Isa 55:8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.
Isa 55:9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isa 55:10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
Isa 55:11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
Isa 55:12 You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
Isa 55:13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the LORD's renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed."
Jesus said “With God all things are possible.” I believe Isa 55:7 speaks directly to your Muslim friend. Jesus died while we were still sinners. He died for all; the sexually perverted, Muslims, Liars, Thieves, and Murderers. As I draw close to Him, I see myself in all those transgressors. We thank You for Your amazing grace O Lord!
May Jesus Christ bless and keep you in His perfect peace!