There was really nothing unusual about the woman waiting for the elevator next to me, aside from the fact that she had a full-sized harp at her side. Yet here we were – this woman, her harp, and me – standing in front of the elevator doors in the hospital lobby, and I was instantly struck by the significance of the moment.
When the doors opened the harp player made the first move. It was a bit of a struggle; loading a harp onto an elevator isn’t done without effort. Still, I didn’t feel the need to offer any assistance. It was clear the musician had everything under control. Surely, she had made this ascent countless times before.
Once we were inside the elevator, I could keep my silence no longer. “I’m so happy I ran into you today,” I said, as though addressing a longtime friend.
The harpist stared back, her eyes begging for an explanation.
“Ten years ago, my baby and I spent three months living in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). She was born with Down syndrome and a near fatal heart defect. Every day was an all-out battle. She was battling for her life, and I was fighting for my sanity.”
“I’m sorry,” said the harpist, still confused.
I took a deep breath and continued, “During the darkest moment of that whole three months – when I came to the point of wondering if I could make it through one more day – I cried out to God, and in that very moment, you started playing hymns right outside my daughter’s door.”
We stared at each other, the harpist and I, both of us fighting back tears.
“God sent you to answer my prayer that day. Thank you.”
The elevator doors opened, our eyes unlocked, and I automatically stepped out, making my way to my scheduled appointment. I praised God for giving me the opportunity to thank the woman who had so deeply ministered to my soul all those years ago. I praised Him for saving my daughter’s life and for preserving my sanity. I worshipped Him for being my ever-present Savior.
I had cried out to the Lord in my trouble, and He brought me out of my distress; He stilled the storms of my life to a whisper; the waves of my panic were hushed (Psalm 107:28-29).
Friend, is there someone in your life who needs to be thanked? Someone who has blessed you, but most likely has no idea that she has been used by God to change your life?
In this season of Thanksgiving, let’s ask the Lord Jesus to bring to mind those faithful few who have come alongside us on this road of suffering. And let’s go out of our way to thank them, all the while praising God for the miraculous ways He answers prayer.
Shauna Amick, M.Ed., serves as the Senior Manager of Development for Joni and Friends. Her daughter Sarah, who has Down syndrome, is an integral member of her fourth grade class at school and her Sunday school class at church. To read more of Shauna’s blog posts, click here.