It's easy to find evidence of God in the midst of extraordinary circumstances. It's not so easy to detect him during the ordinary events of our lives. But that's exactly where you and I live. Most of us will never walk on water, heal the sick, or cast out demons. But we may provide a meal for the needy, offer encouragement to the downhearted, or receive an answer to one of our prayers.
We live amidst the nuance of the normal with God's voice echoing somewhere off in the distance, not thundering from the mountain peaks. That is precisely the reason we need to be sensitive to his quiet voice and gentle leading, to the holy moments we often overlook as we rush madly through our daily routines.
We need to become aware of the more subtle ways that God works and amplify our spiritual sensitivity to his inescapable presence. Nineteenth-century Scottish theologian James Denney wrote, "The important thing in religion is not to believe that God is omniscient but to experience that God knows me. The important thing is not that God is everywhere, but that wherever I am, God is with me."
Nothing seemed out of the ordinary that bright Sunday morning as I jogged down the same route I had taken the previous six days of my vacation in Honolulu. It was a picture-postcard day in paradise. As I ran, I passed surfers catching blue-green waves that would eventually crash and subside on the sandy shores of Waikiki. I followed a course past touristy Kalakaua Avenue, through exotic Kapiolani Park and up the stark volcanic slopes of Diamond Head.
Suddenly, trouble in paradise hit hard. Ouch! At the halfway point of a five-mile excursion, I stopped dead in my tracks. The mother of all charley horses gripped my left calf—I was paralyzed with pain. Stumbling, then fumbling for a nearby wall, I did every conceivable stretch in a desperate attempt to loosen the unrelenting cramp. Nothing worked. I was two-and-a-half miles away from my hotel with no money for a taxi, so I began hobbling toward my final destination.
After navigating several blocks in agonizing discomfort, God tapped me on the shoulder—or I should say, spoke to my heart: Lena, why don't you pray?
Why didn't I think of that sooner? Then I asked him, "Lord, help! I can't make it back without damaging my leg further. Please send me help or heal me. What should I do?"
Through the park, strewn with palm trees and fragrant plumeria blossoms, I spotted a bright banner stretched across a minibus: Heaven Sent. I smiled at God's sense of humor and his impeccable timing. What was that minibus doing smack-dab in my path? Should I limp up and knock on the window?
Then the rest of the sign came into focus: Heaven Sent: Mobile Massage Therapy. "This is too good to be true," I mumbled. Then I wondered, Could this be a holy moment orchestrated by God's good hand?
Just then a local named Bunny Gabaylo stepped out to ask if I needed help. A pleading request tumbled out of my mouth. "I've just injured myself running. I've got two more miles to go. Could you work out the knot in my calf? The problem is, I'm not carrying any money to pay you."
He simply handed me a flyer, and said in Pidgin English, "It your lucky day. I offering two-minute massage free to first time customer."
Bunny, a licensed massage therapist worked on my calf for nearly 20 minutes applying shiatsu acupressure, deep-tissue massage, and Tiger Balm. While I lay on the padded exam table, listening to Julio Iglesias over the high-tech sound system, Bunny graciously offered his healing touch. When I noticed a picture of Jesus on the wall of his minibus, I said, "Are you a Christian?"