Carl was missing a few teeth. He had been driving a cab up Rock Island street in Old Town, just north of Douglas. He had been driving slowly, apparently looking for the person he was supposed to pick up. He gave me a look, and I flagged him down.
I was kind of selective tonight. It's the last day of the project, and I didn't want to grab just anybody to pray for. But at the same time, I was in a hurry. I needed to get home so Mary could get off to a meeting. So I walked through Old Town and was almost back to my car when I stopped Carl.
I motioned for him to roll down his window, which he did. He was 40-something years old with a ball cap, glasses and those missing teeth. I asked to pray for him. He just looked at me. "Why?" he asked. So I told him about my project. "I just like to pray for one person everyday," I said. He considered that for a moment. "Well," he said, "I'm going to pick up a fare, otherwise I would let you."
That wasn't a good reason. "Don't you have 10 seconds? That's all it would take," I said. He didn't fight it. He seemed like a friendly guy, and he said I could pray for him. So I bowed my head and prayed a prayer of safety and blessing on him for the evening. Then I shook his hand. He told me his name was Carl. He thanked me then -- "God bless," he said as he drove away.
And so I walked back to my car, whispering praises to God, so thankful he carried me through this project. I know it was all Him the whole way. It couldn't have been me, because I would have found some excuse to quit. God didn't let me quit. And so he humbled me.
And maybe that's what he wanted all along -- to show me his power. Maybe he just wanted me to know that when he starts a project, he finishes it. People come into projects -- big ones and little ones -- with all our human frailties. I'm convinced that if it's worthwhile, we can't do it on our own. We need Him.
To everyone who's reading this, thanks again for all the prayers and support. And so that's it for now. I may reflect again on this later. But I don't know when that will be. I do know I'm not going to pray for someone tomorrow ... at least I don't think I will.