I didn't go to Huacarpay last night, like normal, because I had a promotion party for the 6th graders. To celebrate both the completion of elementary and then high school, Peruvian students have a promotion party. Last night was the party for 6th grade and I didn't get home and in bed until at around 12:45 am.
This explains why it was hard for me to extricate myself from the warm cocoon of blankets this morning and convince my eyelids to stay open. This was one of the days when it took a while.
And then God and I had a talk about how sometimes I feel like my faith is like this chloroformed laboratory frog that I'm trying to figure out and dissect. I mean, I've got the Bible (in several versions and languages), I've got a ton of books telling me how to live it out. But sometimes, I feel like I'm just reading and going through the motions, not really living it out. Sometimes I feel like I read too much, know too much, and live it too little. Maybe the rest of you haven't ever felt like that, but I have. It's not like my relationship with God isn't real, but I want it to be more real and I want to figure out how to live it every day and in every situation. I heard this testimony the other day of a guy who had an incredible divine appointment in a guitar shop and really showed God's love to the guy he met up with. Made me wish I knew how to live out love like Jesus did. Made me wish I would have showed more love yesterday and I knew how to show it every day.
And then I got out of bed and there was no water in my house. This isn't a terribly uncommon situation, but it is rather frustrating. So I started heating up water to take a bucket bath. As the water was heating, I was doing other things, when I suddenly looked at the clock and realized that I wanted to leave in about 15 minutes. So I hurried through my bath, praying "God, please send me a bus to get to church on time!" I got ready and ran out of the house only about 5 minutes after I'd wanted to leave originally.
I stood on the sidewalk praying "God, please send me a bus!", realizing that if any passed me by without stopping, I'd probably be late to church. So I started trying to get anything to stop. On a whim, I decided to try to stop a bus headed to Puno, a town on Lake Titicaca, about 7 hours away. And, wonder of wonders, it actually stopped. Both the fact that I tried to get it to stop and the fact that it did are strange in themselves.
I climbed aboard after the driver assured me he'd stop in Huacarpay. It was a bus in which the passengers are in a compartment separated from the driver's compartment by a wall and a door. The driver indicated that I should sit in the empty seat in the driver's compartment and I sat, amazed that I actually got to ride to church sitting down and thanking God that I actually got a bus to stop.
And then the driver started asking me about myself, where I was from and what I was doing here, if I enjoy Cusco, if I've learned Quechua, all the normal stuff. Then he asks me if I like chicha, the local corn beer. (What a random question, but whatever.) I told him I didn't, but I do like chicha morada and chicha blanca, both non-alcoholic juices made from corn. So then he asks me if I drink beer. I told him I don't, so then he said "Oh, you must be from some religious group". So I told him I'm a Christian and he sounded surprised to hear there are Christians in the US. He said he's sympathetic to Christianity, but doesn't go to church because he's always busy driving his bus. So I encouraged him to go to church before it's too late. We continued talking. He asked me if I was a pastor and I told him I'm not. And then he asked me if I had a bookstore where he could get a Bible. So I told him "Well, I have a Quechua Bible with me right now. Here, you can have it." He looked at me kinda weird, like "I just picked up this gringa off the side of the road and now she's giving me a Bible?!" He asked me for my cell number and I gave it to him. He said he wants a big Bible, a new one, and I told him all I could do for him at the moment was give him mine. I marked the gospels for him and encouraged him to start there.
We parted with him asking me to be praying for his safety and saying that he'll try to come to church sometime in December and me going "Whoa God, this is a crazy divine appointment!" and assuring him I'd be praying.
I got off the bus in Huacarpay and felt like jumping for joy. Whoa, God, you're awesome! God loves a Quechua-speaking bus driver named Justo! God loves me! And, just, wow God!
Eventually, the doubts came. Was he being serious about trying to make it to church? Should I have said more or done more? Should I have even given out my cell number to a complete stranger? Will he actually read the Bible?
In the midst of it all, I realized that, you know, God orchestrated it, so I'll leave the results in His hands and keep praying.
And that is how I got to church today almost late and without a Bible. And how God showed me that He's in control and He knows and cares about how I'm feeling. And how He reminded me again how it's totally not about me.
God, You're amazing!