I was working a relatively busy day at my store on Saturday. Traffic had slowed up around 4pm when a navy convertible Porsche came wheeling into the lot. Out popped a blonde lady who would come to remind me of Lee Ann Tuohy. In case you have been living under a rock, or possibly just missed the best movie of 2009, Lee Ann is the mom of Michael Oher. The story of their family is told in the movie "Blindside".
So back to my angel...she flies up in her Porsche. Picture Lee Ann Touhy with a couple of inches and an extra 60 lbs on her. This woman is definitely southern, definitely nice, and she knows what she wants--money is no object. (Before you go getting judgemental on me, I should say her money has nothing to do with her being an angel, but it definitely contributes to the story in a way you will see in a minute.) So she is looking for cloth diapers for her daughter who lives in Denver. She simply can't find any stores out there. Odd because I know there is one store called "Denver Diaper Company". Mom begins selecting diapers for her new grandbaby and suddenly a Latino man pulls up in a large SUV and comes striding into my store. He looked completely out of place, not because of his ethnicity, but because of something else not really tangible...his posturing, expression...I don't know, but it felt wrong. I wanted him to move along, so I said "Can I help you, Sir?" At that moment he approached me really quickly and aggressively, to the point that I took a step back in sort of a defensive position. I felt like this guy was coming at me with the intention of harming me. When I moved he said "What?!" I said "You were coming at me, and getting in my space and that makes me uncomfortable, so I moved. What do you need?" I stepped back, but wasn't going to be afraid. He said he needed directions to some bakery I have never heard of and handed me the business card. It was on Chapman Hwy. which is at least 15 miles from here. We told him we didn't know where it was and he left.
She turns to me and says "I didn't like the way he approached you. But don't worry, I have a license to carry and I always do" and she patted her purse. Then she said "I have the Sheriff on speed dial, he's a personal friend, so if we need him, we will call. As soon as I leave here, you need to lock that door and be sure he doesn't come back". Straight out of the movie.
The more we chat, I find out that she works in the inner city--hence the gun--and she likes it. She mentions that she can only work 4 days as a teacher though because she does billing for her husband. He's a surgeon at UT hospital and she does the billing for the **Hyperbarics**. I caught my breath and said "Do you mean Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy...HBOT?" She said "Yes, he has a clinic". Keep in mind I had just posted to the blog about deciding what is next for Kyan a few hours prior. Too weird. So the conversation continued. I asked her if her husband ever treated kids with Autism. She said "No, but you know there is some research that says that HBOT can really help them". I told her that I know about that and explained our story briefly. I told her that we are VERY interested in HBOT and as it stands our options are limited:
1. pay $100 per dive in Nashville, which means traveling back and forth 20 times +.
2. Going to Miracle Mountain in North Carolina, which entails a 3 week stay in a one-room apartment.
3. Buying a Chamber which costs $10,000+ used.
4. Renting a chamber for $2,000 per month.
So I asked her if she would ask him about packages, bundles etc. and about treating kids with autism. She then said something amazing.
"Well you know, that would make a wonderful study. They are always looking for ways to advance medicine and this would definitely have potential to bring in money for the hospital."
We continued to talk about the possibility of us being a part of research, and I said we are absolutely interested. She said that we would make a great sample because triplets, same household, boy and girl, etc. She took down our information and said she would give it to him and talk to him.
Now--I have no idea if this will turn into anything. Honestly, I doubt it. BUT that conversation did amazing things for my faith. God used her to open my eyes to the fact that "there are lots of ways to skin a cat"-as my mom says. What that means for those of you who don't speak Southern is that there are many ways to get a job done. And God is capable of using channels and people and situations that I can't even imagine. I mean what are the odds of that conversation ever happening?
Maybe the Latino man was the angel, rather than "Lee Ann". Who knows? I know that I definitely felt threatened by him and I am grateful she was there with a gun in her purse. And without that exchange, the gun would have likely never been mentioned, and neither would working in inner city, billing for hyperbarics, or any of the rest.
I leave this whole experience knowing that God is always at work. He does not grow weary, nor does He slumber. If she never calls, I am better for having met her and for having that conversation. Thanks God for reminding me that you are with me.