There is a news organization whose tag line is: we report, you decide. That’s how I feel about this amazing situation; I will share with you what happened, you make up your own mind…I’ve already made up mine.
Our girls were traveling home for Thanksgiving break. Their flight was tracking to land early, and Mark and I were running a few minutes behind, so we decided to pick them up just outside of the baggage claim instead of go in and meet them.
Abby’s bag was among 4 or 5 that came out right away, so they were waiting on Hannah’s, along with most of the other travelers on their flight, when the conveyor belt stopped cold. They texted us about the delay so Mark and I drove over to wait in the cell phone lot till they summoned us. Ten minutes later, more luggage came spewing out, but not Hannah’s bag. We all waited. One more delivery cycle brought almost everyone else’s bag up, but not Hannah’s.
It had been nearly an hour since the plane had landed; clearly something was wrong. Hannah called us, explaining the situation, then, with some hesitation shared, “Um, worse though, is that I didn’t save my receipt. I left it on the plane.”
Terrific. Now we not only had one large lost purple bag, we had no way to identify it with the tracking numbers. I was gearing up for a good lecture that could occupy most of our trip back home after they were in our car on the importance of holding onto your receipt till you had the bag back in your possession. “What were you thinking?” was a common phrase I intended to put to good use as well. I was already mentally preparing a checklist of what she would probably need to replace.
Mark swung back into traffic; we were going to park and go in while he saw what might be done to claim a bag without any receipt. I began praying earnestly, mixed with excitement at seeing our girls – and of course a proper dose of instruction about wisdom and folly when it came to traveling with luggage.
As we were hustling along the busy airport, I was praying that God might somehow miraculously allow Hannah’s bag to be found still and returned to her, even if it was days later. I wasn’t sure how that could be since the conveyor had long been quiet, but I was leaving the ‘how’ part of the whole thing to God to handle; I had my part to play in the “what have we learned from this?” department.
As we descended the final escalator to the baggage area, Hannah and Abby met us – they both had bags! What had happened?
“It was the craziest thing!” Hannah said excitedly. “We were hanging out near Conveyor 12, hoping for a miracle that it might start up again and my bag would appear, when this man walks directly up to us and says ‘You have a purple coat, might you also have a purple bag that you’re waiting for?’
Hannah couldn’t believe it – sure enough, it was her bag. But where…? How…? Who was he? How had he known of all the people milling about in the massive room that it was her missing bag? Where had it been? All those questions were left unanswered as she stammered out “Oh my goodness, yes! Thank you so much!” As the girls watched him walk away, Hannah commented to her sister, “Keep watching him Abby, because in like 5 seconds he’s going to just “whoosh” away- like an angel!”
I was dumbfounded. Gone were the speeches I’d been preparing, replaced by rejoicing in my heart for what was clearly prayer answered in an astonishing way. Our car ride home was occupied by a whole different sort of conversation than scolding – more like Praising God for his undeserved goodness and Awesomeness!
I don’t know who the man was or where he came from, or any of the other questions I would have liked to ask him if we’d seen him; but I do know that we serve a BIG God who works in mysterious ways sometimes, and that’s all I really need to know.
Have you ever had prayer answered in ways that went beyond explanation? Did it grow your faith even stronger that God hears us – and answers us? Let’s talk – you know – between friends.