It was Friday, 4:55pm. My kids were all home from school, Shauna was relaxing, and I was sneaking from kid to kid asking them if they were ready for mother’s day. The younger two, Glory and Joel, had lovingly constructed mother’s day crafts at school. Joel went fishing through his backpack so he could show me his mommy treasures… and realized he’d forgotten them at school.

To recap: It’s friday, and Sunday was comin.’ Not Easter Sunday, Mother’s day. And his stuff was still perched with a smile in his cubby, waiting for him to pick them up a day late, on Monday. Nuts.

His shoulders slumped, and a heavy tear dragged its way down his cheek at the thought.

I’ve said this before, but every day we’re faced with a series of decisions, strings of crossroads linked in a providential chain. Follow the links, find God’s best.

My first crossroad was whether to go see if the school was still open, which it never is. But I had to try. That’s what dads do, right? So as we’re driving, I’m praying—because I wasn’t exactly optimistic. Best case scenario, he knows I did my best for him, that I think he’s worth the effort. But I prayed out loud. With a fatherly ache lacing the words.

There’s one car left in the staff lot. Probably a custodian. The front doors are locked. It’s dark inside. Second crossroads. Do I give up? No. We walk by a series of windows. Dark, dark, and dark. Next door is also locked. As it should be. I pray again. Next crossroads. “Please God.” Now we’re three quarters around the school. And the door…

OPENS. What? But surely the second set, the inner doors… OPEN TOO. We walk into the Grand Hall, and find the custodian. She looks surprised.

“How’d you get in?”
“The door was unlocked.”
“WHAT? REALLY?” They’re ALWAYS locked, apparently. I smile inside, then explain my heartbroken son’s predicament. She’s friendly, though not totally convinced. Even so, she leads us to Joel’s classroom…

Which is also open. With the light on. And the last teacher left in the building? HIS teacher. She knows exactly what he’s looking for. Joel snags his mother’s day gifts, and our hearts are beaming.

Thanks, Jesus. Joel is moved by his God’s tender miracle. NICE!