A few years ago when we still attended Westside church, a woman named Heather Berghuis came to our women's group. She was in my study group and we all really enjoyed her presence: she was very honest and real and had a great laugh. She and her husband and kids were going to Bethel Church at that time, and when we started going to Bethel 5-1/2 years ago we overlapped there for about 4 months -- until their family was posted with the military to Ottawa and we had to say goodbye. Then they moved to Wainwright, Alberta, which was the last address I had for them. Although we didn't have regular contact, I still sent them a Christmas card each year and always looked back fondly on the time we'd had together in both church settings.
This morning at church I was singing with the worship team and we were just hanging out in the back room waiting for the service to start. Suddenly there in front of me appeared Heather, with a big smile on her face. She kissed me on both cheeks and then we had a huge hug. It turns out they are living in Belgium now (hence the European kiss, she said) and flew here a couple of days ago so that she can visit her mother who is unwell in Michigan. So they came to church at Bethel to catch up with some of their old friends.
Though we only had a few minutes to talk, seeing her was such a pleasure. When someone just appears like that with no warning, you just feel like it's a gift -- and you realize how much impact certain people can have on your life.