My co-worker, Todd, has been here for about a year. He's a very genial man, almost courtly and I've enjoyed every encounter I've had with him. He has spent most of his life working in the State Department and traveling, but he and his family decided to come "home" to Grand Rapids.
Yesterday, Todd came to me with a tiny, battered, red leather address book that he said he purchased in 1970. He was going through it in order to check addresses for holiday greetings.
He said, "Your name is in here, in my wife's handwriting, and then again in mine."
I looked, and sure enough, it was our old address - 25+ years ago.
I was baffled. "Todd, I don't think we've ever met before, have we?"
He said he didn't think so, but there was my name. What was the connection?
We started going through our mental warehouse - where were we 25 years ago? He was at Calvin College, I was teaching and in grad school...
I stopped. "What's your wife's name?"
Suddenly the name, the handwriting, the places - everything clicked.
"Todd, your wife was my German tutor when I was in grad school."
Vickie had been my German tutor. She and Todd were both students at Calvin and Vickie is originally from Germany.
We both ended up adopting - they have three, we have five. Last night was our staff Christmas party, and there was the beautiful Vickie, with her gorgeous accent, just like I remember. We had so much fun studying together: both newly married, in grad school, serious Christians. So many good discussions...and last night, we got to pick up our talk, 25+ years later.
Thank you, God. You are good.