God is everywhere, but sometimes we don’t see it.
Most certainly, God was at Space for Grace. I think the experience of those three days in Philadelphia will continue to be carried with me.
The people I met, the speakers I heard and the workshops I attended have benefited me subconsciously in ways that in my humanness I won’t even realize until later. I just know it was meaningful to me, especially the opportunity to see in person the diversity of the American Baptist denomination.
When I made plans to attend the conference, I was excited about going, but as it got closer I got nervous about the travel.
I was most anxious about traveling alone on an airplane to the conference. My last airline travel was more than 20 years ago when my sister’s family lived in Colorado.
So, when I got to airport I had an awesome God moment when I saw Joan Friesen, executive minister of American Baptist Churches Greater Indianapolis. “Where are you going?” she asked. “Philadelphia,” I said. “That’s where I’m going,” said Joan, who also had two staff members with her.
We were on the same American Airlines flight and we were both going to the Space for Grace Conference. Part of my angst was getting from the airport to the hotel. And Joan took care of that. She was using Lyft to get her group to there, and she offered to let me ride with them.
Wow, things couldn’t have worked out better. I loved having a short bit of time to relax and read before we got to the hotel!
No doubt, God was there through the travel.
On the Saturday morning after the conference, a marathon through downtown Philadelphia closed streets and made it challenging for the Lyft driver to get to us. We had to walk two blocks so the driver could pick us up.
“I almost gave up,” said the driver. She had made several attempts to no avail, and in fact had permission to give up. But fortunately we had a determined driver. “I was going to give it one more try. I just don’t like leaving people stranded,” she said.
Still, because of the marathon, the traffic getting out of downtown Philadelphia was mostly in a state of gridlock. There were concerns whether we would get to our planes before they departed.
But we did. By the end of the day, we were all back in Indianapolis.
On my flight back, I chatted with college student from Boliva who is attending college in the Maryland. After my layover in Chicago, on the flight to Indianapolis, I sat next to another college student, who was born in Haiti. His father is now pastor of a non-denominational church in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and somehow our conversation drifted into God’s love for all people.
For my travel to and from Space for Grace, I thank God. Not only was it a great trip, but I saw God in the people I encountered along the way.
God is everywhere, and I felt like I really did see God everywhere.
Space for Grace, a recent event by the American Baptist Home Mission Societies, was attended by FBC Indy member Bob Demaree, who writes about the experience.