Monday, June 22, 2009

God's ways . . .

There are so many amazing stories to tell in conjunction with Lindsay's wedding! But I think my personal favorite is the tale of the tardy hairdresser . . .

My mother-in-law, Mary Ellen, and I now have a tradition: we go get our hair "done" the morning of the wedding at Sunrise Hair Salon. The beauty shop is just down the road from us and we really liked the way our hair turned out for Yellie's wedding. So I made appointments for Saturday a.m. with Donna, our stylist from last year.

I forgot that she has a tendency to run late. Mary got to the salon at 8:45, her appointed time, but was still waiting when I showed up at 9:15. Donna had forgotten to check her appointment book and walked in about the same time I did. I was about to go run a few more errands when Char, another stylist, announced that her client had cancelled and that she could do my "do." Char looked a little rough around the edges (picture Ellen DeGeneres as a biker chick), but time was running out so I agreed.

So, Char shampooed my home-dyed hair and then began confidantly snipping away. I honestly cannot remember how we got on the subject, but she started telling me about her 30 year-old son and what it had been like raising him as a single mother.
"My husband died when Eddie was four," she told me. "He had lymphoma caused by Agent Orange from Viet Nam."

"Wow, that must have been so hard!" I said, tearing up a bit. I was already kind of an emotional basket-case that day.

"Yeah, when he was diagnosed, the docs gave him 15 months to live," Char explained. "But five months later my husband told me the Lord had spoken to him--he said he only had three more days.

'I'm going home on Easter Sunday,' he told me. 'Don't you think that's a good day to die?'"

Char carefully layered my hair as she continued her story.

"I asked him why he had to go, why he had to leave me and Eddie so soon," Char said. 'The Lord told me there's a little boy in heaven who needs someone to take care of him,' was his answer. And my husband died on Easter Sunday, just like he'd said."

Completely caught up in the story, I squinted at her through my wet bangs and asked, "What year did he die?"


The same year Jonah was killed . . .

"And how old is your son?"

"Eddie was born December 20, 1979," she replied

December 6, 1979 was our son's birthday . . .

Now a complete emotional wreck, I shared how our four-year-old son, Jonah, had been killed in a car accident the summer of 1984.

Char teared up and didn't say much while she dried my hair (which turned out fabulous, by the way).

"Maybe my husband got called home early to care for your son," Char postulated, as she sprayed my curls into place. "Wouldn't that be something?"

As I drove away from the salon, I realized that we can never understand the ways of God. Why would He take a father away from his living son to care for a child in heaven? It made no sense, but at the same time, the story comforted me more than I can explain. I felt the Lord's assurance that He was more intricately involved in the details of my life-both here on earth and in heaven--than I could ever grasp this side of eternity.

Wonderful are His ways, indeed!

I'll bet Jonah has a story or two to tell when we see his sweet face again . . .