FINDING SISTER IMMACULATA
l took the opportunity to familiarize myself with the car and load all my addresses into the GPS. I also tuned in for Sr. Immaculata's radio interview. As it turned out, her station number had changed so I spent an hour listening to Catholic Radio discussing a topic which wasn't particularly interesting to me. I missed her interview entirely.
Three hours after my original arrival I retrieved my bag, only a little irritated when, after all that, it was nearly the last one off the belt. On very little sleep overnight and nothing to eat... I finally hit the road.
My hotel was to be an hour drive from the airport. I decided to find my way to Sr. Immaculata's church in order to further familiarize myself with the car and practice driving in Florida. I found the church and sat for a few minutes at the far end of the parking lot. Feeling a little lost... I looked at a map to orient myself with the area and entered my hotel as the next destination. I glanced up just in time to see a white mini van pass before me, left to right. I was shocked to recognize Sr. Immaculata as the passenger. I quickly dropped my navigation tools and set out in hot pursuit. I followed that van for over five miles. Through neighborhoods and busy streets, I worked the scene like I was a cop in an episode of The First 48. Feeling like a stalker, I called my sister for advice. "Is this wrong? I asked. I'm not even sure it's her!" "You've gone this far, she said. It's gotta be a God thing. See it through and let me know what happens."
The van entered a shopping center parking lot. The driver parked, left the car running and went into the store, I cautiously approached the van and gave a happy wave to the passenger. It was her alright, sweet, hilarious, Sr. Immaculata.
We were both shocked and thrilled to have found each other since we had no plan to do so until later in the week. She told me she had come to the airport in an attempt to welcome me but could not find me. Her story explained though why the luggage lady mentioned seeing a nun rush through the area shortly before my original luggage-less arrival. We visited for a good fifteen minutes. It was wonderful.
I asked, "Do you drink wine, Sister?" "Well, yes dear, I do." "Good, I said, I brought you a bottle all the way from Oregon." Wine in hand she said, "God's provision is wonderful. Like manna in the desert, He does provide." To which I replied, "Like manna in the desert there is wine at the beach!" We held hands as we talked and exchanged I love yous as we said goodbye. Not so hard to believe, actually, that when you live life by the heart and let God lead... beautiful things happen. Serendipities abound. More about us when we meet again this Thursday.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.