Strange Magic – Stuart Segall

I wanted to share with you some “strange magic” so very recently experienced.  To introduce the magic, I would first like to ask you a question.

What are your feelings about the words in 2nd Corinthians 1 where Paul shares thoughts about God’s comfort and consolation? 2nd Corinthians 1:3,4 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.”  Do you see yourself in that statement?

Today I am saying goodbye to some clients. I am moving on. These are clients that I have had for 10 years and have spent a fair amount of time with over this period.

I have not slept well the last couple of nights because the anticipation of the farewells has been very heavy on my heart.  Now, I consider myself a pretty good counselor — not because I am smart or have a high degree, but because I get invested with my heart into the welfare of my clients and I work hard to help them.

The upside is my clients all know how much I care about them but the downside, of course, is the goodbyes. So today, I had a face full of tears most of the day talking to one client after another who was in this category.  You see, I was tired physically but most of all, I was exhausted mentally.

As my clients needed comfort, I too was yearning for consolation.  I remembered to ask! And a strange thing happened along the way.

In the field I work in we must be fingerprinted and kept current. I went to the agency that does the fingerprinting and in this large room was just me and the person who would take the fingerprints. He was an African American man whose heavily-accented voice sounded like he may not have been in the country that long.

He took my driver’s license and went to the other side of a partition. He said my first and middle name aloud and told me that I am a “servant king” and said that the king is a servant leader if he is a good king. 

Now to you that might seem odd, but my first and middle names mean that.

I learned this from my mother who deliberately named me with that meaning in mind. She would remind me on a regular basis that she felt my destination was to be a servant leader. No one ever told me that but her. “Stuart (she said), I called you Stuart Roy because you were born to serve and lead.”  I think the last time she told me this I was about 10 or 11 and I remember thinking, “I wish she would have named a name that meant “rich and professionally athletic.”

So naturally, when the man fingerprinting me shared his thought and view, I was so moved by the timing of his decree based on the morning that I had, I sobbed some more! However, this time it was sobbing with consolation.  When he was done, he asked me if he could hug me, and he did so with kindness and he assured me that my mother would have seen the meaning of my name fulfilled.  With some of my personal failures going on in my mind, this was almost surreal.

This was very surreal to me, reminding me of the beautiful lyrics of “Strange Magic” by ELO (Electric Light Orchestra).

I felt it was encouragement from above that I sorely needed. I share this with you so that during the storms, which surely will come, there certainly can be some unexpected rays of sunshine if you only recognize them when they present themselves.  Sometimes you will simply need to ask. 

We all need encouragement so keep a keen eye out for those wonderful rays of sunshine.

Most of all I am reminded and I remind you too that “He is the God of all comfort”… He does say “all” and we would be amiss not to request what we are offered.    “Who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2nd Corinthians 1:4).

May these encouraging words be shared one more time?

Verse 3 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.  This is the kind of assurance for which you and I can “ask, seek and knock” with confidence.

Stuart Segall lives about an hour north of Seattle.  He has spent most of his adult life counseling, encouraging, inspiring and uplifting others.

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