Lunch with Linda
by Betsy Tacchella
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Lunch With Linda
Two years had passed since I had seen Linda. We were just acquaintances, with our daughtersí high school swim meets as our only common interest. Weekly, she and her husband joined a group of couples as we traveled together to distant swim meets. I hadn't seen or thought about Linda since the girls had graduated from high school.
Curiously, one morning as I had my quiet time worshipping God and enjoying His presence, Linda's name entered my mind. I would have returned my focus to worship, but when a name comes to mind during prayer, it's often there for a reason. As I sought God, the thought drifted across my mind, "invite Linda to lunch."
Taken aback, at first this seemed inappropriate. How absurd to think of inviting her to lunch. We barely knew each other and two years had passed since we last met. I dismissed the thought and went on with my day's activities.
The next day as I entered prayer time, what came to mind again but, "invite Linda to lunch." This time I began to question the Lord, "Is this really what You want me to do?" An affirmative answer came to my mind. I pondered this for several days and finally decided to put out a fleece. "Lord, if this is from you, then arrange for me to run into Linda somewhere in town within the next week. If this happens, then I'll ask her to lunch assuming by faith that you have a purpose."
With my prayer breathed, I watched with anticipation to see what would happen. Several days later, I made my weekly trip to the grocery store. As I made my way up and down the aisles focused on my shopping, at one point I glanced up. You can guess who was standing there - Linda. My heart began to race as we exchanged greetings and chatted a few minutes. As we parted, I had the awesome realization that God was at work, and He wanted me to be part of His plan.
The next morning I obediently phoned and asked Linda if she would like to get together for lunch. Delighted to hear from me, she quickly affirmed that she would enjoy the opportunity. Now working full time, however, she would have only an hour to visit during her lunch break.
The date was set, but I had no idea what I would talk about with her. We had never spoken about spiritual matters. "Well Lord," I whispered, "I'll be watching for your plan to unfold."
The day of the luncheon arrived. After warmly greeting each other, Linda and I chatted for the first ten minutes. While we talked, I sent up an arrow prayer, "Lord, we only have fifty minutes left. When are you going to do something?"
No sooner had I breathed out this prayer than Linda looked at me and said, "You know Betsy, I've been talking with some of my friends lately, and a question has been on my mind."
"What would that be?" I asked with peaked interest.
"Well, I'm very concerned because I'm not sure when I die that I'll go to heaven. Betsy, do you know how a person can be sure of that?"
I was amazed. Linda was asking me for the "hope of my calling." I had heard the voice of God and this was a divine appointment. In His love and mercy for Linda, He had arranged this luncheon to allow her to receive a personal word from God.
Delighted with the opportunity, I began to tell Linda that I knew I would go to heaven when I died and that she could know too. I shared with her how I had received Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. I explained the gospel message and read Scriptures to her.
Then I told her how I had come to invite her for lunch. Looking into her eyes, I said, "You know Linda, it's no accident that you're here today. I believe this is a divine appointment set up by God." With wide eyes, she agreed that indeed this was a divine appointment.
In forty minutes of concentrated time, God revealed eternal life to a searching soul. Through this encounter, He disclosed how intimate His interest is in our lives. Iím so glad I responded to His nudge for me to meet with Linda. Eternal choices were in the balance.
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