I've been thinking about surprises...

What A Difference A Phone Call Can Make!

It was 9:14 pm on a Sunday evening, September 25, when the phone rang. Darryl was in Idaho Falls speaking at a three-day Bible conference and I was sitting at home in Scottsdale quietly watching TV. It had been a wearying week and I was trying to patch myself together and regroup.

When I picked up the phone I heard Wayne Grudem's voice on the other end of the line. It is unusual for Wayne to call our home in the evening and as I listened to him he definitely sounded mysterious. He said he had someone with him who would like to talk to me.

My mind instantly searched through a database of who that could possibly be since Wayne mentioned he was in Virginia riding in the backseat of an SUV. A very warm male voice came on the phone and said, "Hi Holly, I'm Eric Metaxas!"

Here is the back story! Over the summer my book club read Bonhoeffer by the New York Timesbest-selling author Eric Metaxas. According to the cover of the book, it is the biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, PASTOR, MARTYR, PROPHET, SPY - A Righteous Gentile vs. The Third Reich.

Through unusual circumstances in his native Germany, Dietrich Bonhoeffer became both a theologian and a spy in resistance to Adolf Hitler and his plan to exterminate the Jews of Europe. Dietrich was executed in a concentration camp for his part in a plot to assassinate Hitler in 1945 just days before the allies swarmed over the land and freed it from Nazi domination.

Over the summer, while we were in Santa Cruz, the advancement department of Phoenix Seminary called Darryl to ask him about his recommendation for a speaker for our major fundraiser in Laguna Beach in March, 2012. Having just finished Bonhoeffer, I mentioned Eric's name. Both Darryl and I agreed that he would be a fascinating speaker but neither of us knew Eric personally and we hoped he would be a good choice. May I say, that this suggestion to have Eric as our speaker is a weighty one - and one not taken lightly in my world.

So, imagine my excitement, when due to a flight mix-up, Wayne and Eric somehow met up and were traveling in the back seat of an SUV together in Virginia - both headed in the same direction to very important speaking engagements. Because Wayne had taken the lead in resolving their travel difficulties, Eric said he would "do anything" for his friend, Wayne - even calling a woman in Scottsdale to say hello in a surprising way that would make her day!!!

I love the way God knows the exact timing of when to drop down into my life a kind of super over-the-top encouragement that sends a very clear message - "I know YOU - I know YOUR work - I know YOUR faith! Keep looking up and don't grow weary in well-doing, Holly! All is well and be confident, I am at work in every detail of YOUR life!"

In the gracious warmth of Eric's voice, I felt my confidence surge that he will do a great job for us in Laguna. I am excited about the prospect of seeing him face to face - having the opportunity to learn more from his extensive research about the life of a man - Dietrich Bonhoeffer - who determined to do the will of God - even to the point of death. A man who like Jesus - courageously and humbly gave it all.

Consider Him who endured from sinners such hostility against Himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. Hebrews 12:3&4

Life is full of surprises and opportunities to see God at work! I am thankful that I matter enough to Him that He sent me a kiss via a phone call on a Sunday evening!