Do you believe in Divine Appointments? I do. I have seen them happen too many times to doubt that God manipulates space and time to set up Divine Appointments for us to keep.
My wife's family live up North in Michigan. Her parents live across the street from the Shrine of the Cross in the Woods — the largest crucifix in the world. We spend a week each summer in Indian River and often visit the shrine. Last Saturday we stopped in at their gift shop and I overheard a young man telling the cashier that he was a new Catholic joining the Church.
I couldn't help myself. I followed him out and said, "I overheard you saying you are a new Catholic!" He was a bit startled but told me his father was a non-denominational preacher but that he had discovered the Catholic Church and had fallen in love with Her. He was involved in a Bible study and had also experienced miraculous deliverance. I told him I was a convert too and gave him my business card.
Shortly thereafter I received a phone call from the young man named Caleb (which means "old dog" in the Old Testament and was the name of one of only two men allowed to enter the Promised Land). He had taken my card back to the group and they said, "Do you know who you just met Caleb? Steve Ray wrote the book we are using in our Bible study, St. John's Gospel".
They invited me to Petoskey Michigan where they all lived — only about 1/2 hour away on Lake Michigan. I gladly accepted. When I arrived I found a house full of excited Catholics. The home belonged to Kerry and his wife (graduate of Steubenville and teacher of youth in their parish). Kerry had joined the Catholic Church about 12 years ago from a Baptist background and you could see the love of God and the excitement of the faith in his eyes. I am sorry I don't remember more names but it was a whirlwind for me and I very bad at remembering names. (You can see some of those I visited in the picture. Others couldn't stay so late. For a larger picture, see the bottom of my home page. Kerry is on the left, his wife has the baby and Caleb is immediately to my right.)
I signed their books and we sat around and had a marvelous conversation for three hours — three hours that just flew by like minutes. I think I encouraged them all in the faith and I KNOW they encouraged me. What a joy to be visiting a distant city and find enthusiastic Catholics just oozing with the joy of the Lord and love for his Church.
I want to thank Caleb for being open to the Lord and for Kerry and his wife's hospitality. I thank all of those who shared their love of the Catholic faith that evening. The angels watched the divine appointment take place and they all rejoiced in heaven. I rejoice on earth. What a blessing and joy to meet you all. Keep up the good work and I hope to see you again soon when we visit Up North.