“In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them....” —Exodus 15:13 (NIV)
I was hurrying along Washington Street in downtown Boston when I had to stop for a traffic light. A car pulled up with a well-dressed couple seated inside. “Sir,” they asked, “could you help us? Could you direct us to a nearby hotel?” I had driven through the area countless times, and I knew there was a hotel nearby. But I had never paid attention to exactly where it was, and it was hard for me to direct them through the winding streets. They looked at me with disbelief and fatigue when I told them I was unable to help them.
A few days later, my wife Ruby and I visited my Aunt Ruth in Williamstown, Massachusetts. She begged us to stay the night, but instead we were adventurous and drove up to Vermont. As darkness fell, we sought a motel. It was a holiday weekend, and NO VACANCY signs were everywhere. We headed back to Greenfield, Massachusetts, and stopped at the first motel we saw.
I got out of the car and went into the motel office, but when I asked for a room, the clerk shook his head no. My heart fell. We were exhausted, and the drive home would take hours. As I turned to leave, the clerk said, “Wait a minute. There’s a new motel seven miles north of here.” He called — there were vacancies — and made a reservation for us.
We reached the spanking-new red-brick motel and checked in. After a shower, we relaxed and chatted. Then the faces of those two tired and disappointed travelers in Boston flashed into my mind. I had not been able to help, but tonight a stranger had reached out and helped me willingly. At that moment, I vowed to learn to navigate the streets in Boston, no matter how winding.
Dear Father, help me to be a guide to others, in the world and in Your Word.