summer of 1993

If ever there were a seemingly throw-away moment in history, this was it.

It was late one sultry August evening/morning in 1993, Libertyville, Illinois. A friend and I eased our Ryder moving truck up to a little house in Libertyville, Illinois, which would be home for the next four years while I went to seminary. The “beep beep beep” pierced the early morning as Todd backed the rig up into the narrow driveway, missing the big tree on the right and old porch steps on the left. “What a great way to impress the new neighbors,” I thought, but it was far too late for anyone to protest, and we quickly retired for what was left of the night, to face the herculean task of unloading in the morn.

To the two of us nothing seemed significant about our arrival in Libertyville, except that a long, slow trek was over, and that a full truck was in the driveway while an empty house longingly waited, just 2 feet away.

Neither did anything seem too significant when the next day a young wife from just around the corner dropped by with some cookies to welcome us to the neighborhood. Her name was Suzanne.

Most details of our stories seem insignificant to us, not only when they happen, but in hindsight. The problem is not the story; the problem is our vantage point. And even if, in hindsight, a moment in our story glitters as more significant than others, our flawed perspective keeps us from really understanding.

Now 18 years after that humid August night of 1993 the snow falls in Chicago, while Sonya and Suzanne camp in the Residence Inn, nursing Sonya back to health.  A few steps away Sonya’s liver now pumps life into Suzanne’s mother, Gay.

There is a lot to this story, and I’m the first to admit I’ve missed much of it. And I’m sure I’ll miss much of the story to come. It’s hard to see from my vantage point.

But that doesn’t mean that I’m not overcome by the little bit of the story I manage to grasp: that somehow, on that humid August night in 1993, something was going on that was bigger than me.

I don’t have to grasp it in order to marvel. I don’t have to subdue it in order to worship.

There are no throw away moments in history because there is a Playwright.  And even if you miss virtually all of the connections in your story, you can still stop to thank God for those few moments you see, and, most of all, to thank him that there is a Playwright.

In fact, telling this story makes me pretty stoked for tomorrow. Wonder what “insignificant moments” might come my way in the morn . . .

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8 Responses to summer of 1993

  1. Suzanne says:

    We are now sitting in the residence inn bawling our heads off~need we say more?

  2. Emily Williams says:

    Rick, thanks so much for your perspective on the amazing story God has put you and Sonya into. It is encouraging to read, and I am so thankful for your willingness to share your thoughts.

  3. Beautiful! Beautiful writing and beautiful reflection. I’m not awaiting my insignificant moments today.

  4. Judy Dominick says:

    After so many years have passed since I last heard you give a talk in Sewell Hall at Rice, I still so appreciate the way you communicate, Rick. It’s a worship-inspiring story, indeed – written by the ultimate Playwright. What a wonderful, amazing God we have. And we get to call him “Father.”

  5. Ceil Wilson says:

    “There are no throw away moments in history because there is a Playwright.”
    I love that! Profound–and so true. Thank you for the reminder. It is a praise-inducing experience to look back like this and see how God has been “plotting” the story of our lives like a novelist. No experience is wasted in His grand plan.

  6. Margaret Sapp says:


  7. Sharon Borror says:

    Rick, I wrote a note to Sonya, too. I am a friend of Gay and Roger and a kidney and liver transplant patient as of 9.17.07. Life is very good! I just want to thank you for your honest and caring story posts. I have enjoyed them. God has given you a very unique way of communicating…a very well-written sharing of your emotions and thoughts. Thank you for your honesty and for your love for Sonya and Gay and Roger and Suzanne and Jesus…and others. That’s the way we are to live.

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