Friday, January 8, 2010

Father Sam Flies to the Dominican Republic

A Cute Story of Faith Tested

Father Sam took a trip to the Dominican Republic a number of years ago, with a couple of other priests.   He indicated to his co-travelers that he wanted to meet people, and so sat in a section of three seats by hmself. He was joined by a young woman and an older woman, who were not together.

As he engaged the women in conversation, they shared thoughts on a number of things.  Then, Father Sam had an inspiration, maybe.  He had a small bible in his pocket, and this idea in his head.  He asked the young woman to think of a question that she wanted to ask God.  Then, he told her that God would answer that question from the bible.  The plan was that she would open the bible and the first passage that she read would answer her question.

As she started to think about the question, Fr. Sam started to question what he was thinking.  So, when she was ready, he stalled.  He first told her that they had to ask God to forgive their sins, and so they prayed for that.  He was stalling for time, but was also trying to make sure that there were no obstacles in the way, but more like the golfer who looks for the imaginary blades of grass that are not perfectly smooth in his line to the hole, when he is about to make a difficult putt.

Then, he stalled a bit more.  He said to her: "OK. Let's praise God for a few moments to prepare."  So, they praised God together.

Finally, it was the moment of truth, and Father was nervous.  (O ye of little faith - just like the rest of us).  Well, she took the bible, opened it up and read a passage from John's Gospel.   Father nervously asked her if she got the answer to her question.  She replied that she had, and told him about her questioning her faith and showing him the scripture, she showed him how her question was answered.  She also did it again with another question, but would not tell Father Sam the question or the answer.

After the plane landed they went on their separate ways.  It happened that a few days later, Father Sam was at the home of a well to do couple, who had invited him to dinner, and unbeknownst to him had also invited several other friends of theirs, to meet the priest.

Well, after dinner as discussion went on, the woman of the house pulled out her bible and wanted to discuss something with Father.  She opened her bible to the exact passage that the young woman on the plane had opened to previously.

To Father Sam, this was the proof that his silly idea of opening the bible to find the answer to a question at random, was not, in fact, his silly idea, but God's plan.  So, our dear Father Sam Johnston learned a new lesson in trust those days, that the God who has counted every hair on our heads, knows how to share his word with his people.

And a bolder man of faith emerged from that experience.

No comments: