It happened on a hot Saturday in July 2011 along a rural highway in North Carolina. Mom and I were headed to the mountains for a hiking trip. We planned to spend time hiking in God’s creation. We had a little breakfast before leaving her house in Amherst County, VA. We had not planned on stopping for anything until lunch time when we were close the Blue Ridge Parkway.
To pass the time, we talked of life, kids, family, work and then the conversation came around to God. Our discussion that morning was timing and caring. We each gave instances of God’s timing and how much He cares for us – even in the smallest way. Mom shared about getting a prime parking spot at Walmart. When you are nearing 70 years old, that is a special treat. I told her of praying for a trusted, male Christian friend and the day I met Greg.
Our talk navigated through scriptures and the teachings of Jesus. He will feed us, clothe us and keep us safe came to mind from the Book of Matthew. We agreed even the smallest of events can be miracles if we open our minds to see God’s caring hand.
We continued to drive down the four-lane bi-way and I was hungry. With the mountains still several hours away, I needed to eat a snack. I started feeling a little dizzy. I had not eaten enough breakfast to carry me through the trip. Normally, Mom packed a cooler or tote for our trips – full of goodies – apples, crackers, trail mix, but no snacks this time. Somehow, she said, she had forgotten.
Mom said, “A visitor’s center is up ahead just over the state line. I stopped before and they have a vending machine.”
“Great.” I said. “I can get a bag of peanuts and drink water. That should tie me over until lunch.”
We kept talking, paying no attention to the road signs, and missed the exit to the Piedmont Triad Visitor Center. I drove few miles further, turned around, and head back north to get to the exit – an extra five minutes or more. We both agreed that there was a reason that we didn’t see the sign the first time. We finally arrived at the information center and parked the car.
First stop was the ladies room, then I went directly to the vending machine, which were at the end of sidewalk next to drink machines. The front glass was facing the afternoon sun. My thought was, Ugh, HOT peanuts. I took a dollar bill from my wallet to make the buy a bag just as Mom called to me from the front of the building.
“Hey, they might have something to eat. Let’s go check before you get anything,” she said.
Ahh, yes indeed, I thought, worth a try. My hopes rose while considering tasty treats inside the welcome center.
We stepped through the door and spotted the coffee. A quick glance around the room showed handmade crafts and country furniture, but no food.
Disappointed, I walked toward the coffee when the lady behind the counter said, “Hey, take this biscuit, don’t you want it?”
My stomach jumped at the prospect she may have been talking to me. As my eyes scanned the scene, I realized she was talking to a gentleman (husband, I believe) who headed out the door.
“Naw, I don’t want it. You eat it.” he said.
“But, it’s an extra one,” she continued.
As he waved her off and the door closed, I held tight to my dollar bill. I raised my hand and waved in the air as if I were at a heated auction. “I’ll buy that from you,” I said almost yelling.
The biscuit lady, Dean, responded, “Oh no, Hun, you don’t have to buy it. You can have it.”
I walked up to the counter and she held out the biscuit – still warm. Oh, my goodness, the soft biscuit and ham smelled wonderful. I cupped the package in my hands.
I blurted out, “I know Who gave me this.”
“Why yes, He did,” she responded as if reading my thoughts. “That must be why I ordered extra in the drive-thru.”
“He always takes care of us,” I answered warmly. My smile met hers and we shared a moment of knowing. I thanked her as I unwrapped the tasty treat.
I strolled around the welcome center, browsing through the country crafts and homemade items. Devouring the ham biscuit, I chased it with a cup of coffee. Heavenly, figuratively and literally! I felt like I had not eaten anything for days. God’s timing was perfect.
Dean, the lady who happened to work at the welcome center and happened to buy an extra biscuit that morning and Mom, not packing her usual snack pack. Me, missing the exit and taking the time to go the restroom first. This was too much to fathom, the orchestrated event to deliver this ham biscuit into my life that morning.
One may say that morning was just a coincidence. I saw this as God reaching down through the vast Universe into a moment of need for one of His children. Mom and I called it a miracle – the tiny miracle of the ham biscuit. By the way, it was the best ham biscuit I have ever eaten in my life!
“The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” 1 Cor 2:14 (NIV)
“Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:25-26 (NIV)