So Andy took my car on Friday so he could get the oil changed for me.
He went to the place close to us and it was super busy.
So he drove to another Jiffy Lube 15 minutes away.
He sat down in the waiting room next to an elderly, African-American woman.
They were the only ones in the tiny little waiting room at the Lacey Jiffy Lube.
So in true Andy Landers fashion, he began to talk to the woman.
She told him about her 3 sons and a long life lived.
As they were chatting, one of her sons came in to pick her up.
He was a very large and tall man, likely in his 50′s.
Andy introduced himself to the son and began a flurry of small talk.
Which somehow led the way into this man telling Andy he was the oldest surviving member of a large and well-known gang out of California.
As a young man, he was put in rehabilitation program that sent gang members either to jail or to a special program in the military.
He spent several terms overseas in this particular military program. There he had a faith/conversion experience.
And returned to a small town Eastern Washington to begin a new life.
Andy at this point recognized the name of the small town. A town that his uncle once lived and pastored a small church there.
(I blogged about Andy’s Uncle Ned here when he passed away last year.)
Andy, a bit hesitantly asked, “Did you happen know Ned Landers?”)
The man got very excited and said, “Yes!! I prayed with Pastor Ned every Thursday for 12 years! How do you know him??”
Andy said, “He’s my uncle.”
Both excited about the new connection, I believe the conversation continued for a few minutes.
Then this man said to Andy, “Wait. Didn’t you have a baby that really had a hard time when he was born? We prayed for him every week for months.”
Um. Yes. Andy completed the circle with an update on Quincy.
So there they were.
In Jiffy Lube.
8 years later. And ex-gang member who had prayed for our son.
Who had been loved by an Uncle–who almost exactly a year ago went to be with Jesus.
A testament to a life well-lived.
And to the divine intersections of stories.
He said they both had tears in their eyes as they left to pick up their cars.
Andy was able to call and tell the story to Aunt Marcene (Ned’s wife) and his Dad (Ned’s twin brother).
And someday we will tell it to Quincy too.
Uncle Ned was a guy whose kindness mad grown men weep.
And even after his death, the ripples of that love still show up in our lives.
A pretty cool story.
Andy has decided to go sit in Jiffy Lube at least once a week….