Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes to Father, except by Me.” (John 14:6)
I was invited to the Harvest Banquet by my friends and neighbors, Fred and Beth. Fred worked with my ex-husband and brought a woman over to our house to meet me. Well, she stayed while the guys went out about their business and we got along famously. She had been a truck driver and met Fred and they got married. She was pregnant with their first child and she and I chatted the afternoon and evening away in my swimming pool.
When the guys returned Fred and Beth went on their merry way. Their son was born and later died from SIDS. While Beth was driving around in her grief she discovered Beaver Road Church of Christ. She stopped in and spoke with the minister there. She became part of Christ’s family at that church.
Later, after my husband had left me, Fred and Beth wanted to include me in their Thanksgiving celebration at the church. I went and had a lovely dinner and met all kinds of wonderful people. We sat at the table with the minister and I didn’t realize that until dinner was over. Then it came time for the speaker of the evening. I was moved and touched by his message. Fred and Beth didn’t know this when they apologized for not letting me know there was to be a speaker at this event.
I thanked them and told them I would like to go to this church with them. So, the following Sunday and every Sunday from that day forward, until I left New York, I attended this church. Then on Christmas Eve while I was celebrating the news that I did not have bone cancer, I had a house fire. My daughter was asleep in my bedroom and the smoke alarm went off. I lost the second floor of my home. My friend took me home with her and an adjuster took care of inventorying my loss and dealing with the insurance company.
I continued to go to church and was studying with my minister for my baptism. During this time I continued to work, celebrated Christmas, and sent my daughter back to college. The disruption in my life seemed very unimportant. I was baptized in February and began my new life.
It still amazes me that a simple invitation to a banquet to celebrate Thanksgiving could have changed my life so drastically. Fred and Beth ended up living around the corner from me when I moved from the home I lived in during my marriage and we frequently drove to church together. Beth was diagnosed with AIDS when their second son was born. Fred and their son were tested and are fine, praise God, but Beth has died.