There's been a theme in my life lately, on a large and a small scale.
It's as if God is saying, "You think that was good? Wait till you see what I am going to do next."
It all started with the ATM.
It was close to 8:30 in the evening and I had just finished up another hilarious brainstorming meeting at the church office and walked over to the grocery store across the street. It was also payday so I had planned to withdraw money and pick up a few groceries to stock up for the month.
So I put my card in the machine, check my balance to make sure I wouldn't take out too much. Then, after the initial shock of what was lacking because of a plummeting exchange rate, I typed in the numbers to withdraw and hit OK.
The ATM did it's typical shuffling game... then waited a few seconds, shuffled again, waited, shuffled.
I looked around a bit nervously to make sure no one was watching and then to my friend who had walked over with me, wondering if he was expecting millions to come out of that machine.
And then it happened. Something I had heard about but never experienced.
The ATM spit out my card and then my receipt and then... NOTHING.
No money, not even a note on the screen to reassure me that everything was going to be alright. Just a receipt that told me that my balance was now 1,600 Kenyan Shillings. (roughly $20 CAN)
But I was like, no biggy, there's a number on the receipt... So I called it while my friend waited and the agent told me that if the money isn't given by the machine that it will be put back in my account immediately.
Skeptically, I hung up the phone and put my card back in the evil machine. Sure enough, after checking my balance... 1,600 Shillings.
I called the number again and the agent (same guy, which was kind of awesome) reassured me that it would be there in the morning, and if not, then I could call again and they'd 'launch an investigation.'
Which always sounds so official but I know that in reality, this investigation consists of someone in a tie that clashes with their shirt, hitting a couple of keys on the computer and printing out a few numbers. And that will conclude the investigation.
But the ATM was just the start, just the launching pad from a night that turned out to be really really great.
I didn't know how to get home because I had about 50 shillings in my pocket when a taxi is 300. Public transit was out of the question because it was dark out and the road that leads into my neighborhood is not known to be super safe on foot at night. But just as my friend had offered to get some money out of his account for me, I remembered that another lady at the meeting was waiting for a ride and lives a few blocks from me. I called her up and sure enough, she was passing the grocery store at that moment.
God: "Don't worry about getting home safely, I've got you covered."
I get home and start wishing that I had had another cup of tea at the meeting because it hit me that I hadn't eaten since the morning and my fridge contained a quarter of a loaf of bread and some juice. (It's been a long month)
I walked over to the duka (shop) and knew I could get something small to fix for dinner with my 50. But as I was about to choose what to eat, my neighbor pulled into his garage with his wife, hops out and says, "hey, we owe you some samosas." I had taken them some homemade cupcakes a few nights before.
I skipped across the road, not just because of samosas but he had reminded me that I had some audio production questions to ask him. But first, I told him that his samosa offer was an answer to prayer and explained to him what happened with my money. He responded to my story with, "well, we have a ton of food, come eat dinner with us."
God: "Young lady, you think I'd let you go to bed hungry today? Wait till you see the dinner I had planned for you."
I ate better that night than I had in weeks. And while we sat down to eat we talked about the good things that God has done in our lives. We talked for about 2 hours until they joked that they might as well get me a mattress to sleep on. But it was going on 10:30pm and it was time for me to get home.
They walked me to my gate, which is only a block away but they wanted to make sure I was safe. Just as we got there, my friend asked me if I needed anything while I was waiting for my money situation to be resolved. I had actually forgotten about it till he mentioned it. But I said I was hopeful I could go withdraw it in the morning.
He reached into his wallet anyways and pulled out 2000 shillings. "Just in case," he said. I wasn't sure how many thank-yous were sufficient but I did my best.
We said our good-nights and I went up stairs to my apartment, smiling and thanking God for providing so much in one single day: Life, health, safety, food and friendship.
It's days like this when I think that God can't possibly top it. but then He says,
"You think that was good? Wait till you see what I am going to do next!"
I was able to withdraw my money the following morning.