Updated: 5 days ago
It was during the olden days of the 90s that I attended seminary. Every Sunday in my sporty black Mazda, I zipped down I-5 where the speed limit was 70 so everyone drove 80. It was a three-hour trip. On Thursday evenings I made my way home again. At first, attending seminary seemed impossible. I could afford tuition but not housing and driving back and forth every day was beyond my energy reserves. God, however, makes a way where there is no way. As I discussed the housing snafu over the phone with the Dean of Women, another call came in for her. It was a sweet old lady who served Christ by opening her home every year to a Multnomah student. And as I waited on hold, she offered her annual gift of free housing. Oh yes, the gift was given to me right then and there. God always provides what is needed to walk in His will. So during that first year of seminary I slept in Mabel's “sparest of spare rooms”. What a blessing.
Every evening after the sun dipped below the horizon, Mabel and I relaxed together, idly chatting and watching television. There was her favorite show- Seinfeld, which I’d never seen before. My initiation to Seinfeld wasn’t positive. It seemed they never left the apartment, never went anywhere or did anything. I kept waiting for them to do something.
“This show’s about nothing!” I said to myself. Verily, verily, I said that. Of course I eventually watched it again and recognized it’s fabulosity. Now, of course, the “show about nothing” is one of my all-time favorites.
Over the Christmas break of that year, Mabel fell sick and ended up in the hospital. That sweet servant of God passed away, but not before she, literally on her deathbed, took a few of her precious last moments to instruct her daughter to allow me to continue to stay in her home for the spring semester. Imagine someone in the midst of dying taking the time to bless a person she barely knew! I could have robbed them blind for all she knew of me. But she trusted God and I received another blessing.
Speaking of robbing, I’m impelled to describe the last day of that semester. A fellow student was leaving for a missions trip and needed a place to store her household goods. Things like lamps, little tables, a chair, and boxes of stuff. My house had plenty of room so we arranged that I would keep her stuff with me.
There I was on that final day, my car in the driveway filled to the brim with her belongings, when Mabel’s daughter arrived to close up the house for the summer. You can imagine her thoughts when she spied the contents of the car. I ended up having to open it up so she could look inside and assure herself I wasn’t trying to steal everything not nailed down. I think she still had doubts.