Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | May 7, 2012

God Put You In My Way

Near the top of my list of favorite movies is “The Four Feathers” — based on the novel by the same name written by Alfred Mason in 1902. In the latest screen adaptation, the late Heath Ledger played the role of Harry Feversham, a British officer who resigned his post just before his unit was sent to protect British interests in Sudan in 1884. As a result of his decision, Feversham received four white feathers, a symbol of cowardice, from his friends and fiancé. The rest of the story is about Feversham’s attempt to redeem his honor by traveling to Sudan in disguise. At a critical point, Feversham was near death in the desert when an African man named Abou Fatma (portrayed by Djimon Hounsou) found him, nursed him back to health, and protected him. This unexpected act of kindness prompted Feversham to ask Abou, “Why are you protecting me?” Abou’s answer is among my favorite movie lines: “God put you in my way. I have no choice.” Near the end of the movie when these two men are parting company, Feversham asks Abou where he is going. Abou replies, “To see who else God puts in my way.”

The attitude of Abou Fatma in this movie reminded me of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-36), that selfless character that came to the rescue of a man who had been robbed and beaten on the road between Jerusalem and Jericho. When the Samaritan came across the man who God had put in his way, or in his path, he felt compassion and realized that he had no choice but to help him. Among other things, the story of the Good Samaritan should remind us to recognize those opportunities to help people who God puts in our way. Those opportunities often present themselves in a variety of ways and not always in the form of someone who has been beaten to within an inch of their life. They often come in the disguise of interruptions to our normal, daily routine. And if we will look and listen carefully, we will recognize opportunities to help those who have intersected our path because of divine providence.

This past Friday morning I was working in my front yard when a man in a van stopped in front of my house and motioned to me to come over. He was an older man who spoke little English and was trying to find a particular address. He showed me a hand-scrawled map with directions to his destination. I repeated the directions to his destination several times but he just was not getting it. He had absolutely no sense of direction. That’s when I heard a whisper in my heart saying, “I have put this man in your way. Help him.” So, I looked at the man and told him to wait a moment. “I am going to run in the house and get my keys and will take you there. Just follow me.” It only took a few minutes to guide him to his destination. When we arrived I hopped out of my truck and pointed to the house where he was expected. He smiled, shook my hand, and said, “Thank you, son. May God repay your kindness to me.”

Helping the man was a simple thing that cost me no more than a few minutes of my time. But that simple act of kindness meant a great deal to this man who God had put in my way. As I drove back to my house to continue my yard work God reminded me of Abou Fatma’s last words to Harry Feversham: “I am going to see who else God puts in my way.” I thought a lot about those words as I finished my yard work. Every day has its respective opportunities to help those that God puts in our way if we will learn to listen carefully, see clearly, and act compassionately. I hope that you will determine to look for and to help those that God puts in your way. It’s part of the grand adventure of living and makes our journey a lot more meaningful.


Responses

  1. Omar, you are on top shelf, I saw this movie on TV a few weeks ago and thought it very different but good.

    • I love the story. It has so many great lessons about redemption, acting selflessly in order to rescue others, and so much more. Great movie. Glad you had an opportunity to see it.

  2. I like this! I’m trying to learn that sometimes I don’t have to go out of my way as much as just see who God puts in my way. Good stuff, thanks for sharing your story!
    htttp://www.AverageAdvocate.com

    • Thanks, Elisa. And thanks for your good work. Blessings.


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