By Bill Derby
I left my cell phone connected to the charger in the kitchen last Friday evening and went to bed. The weekend ahead was going to be busy and challenging.
Our band was scheduled to play for a fundraiser in Kingsport and I had been running around getting last minute music stuff together for the band. It was a hectic Saturday trying to remember everything I needed for the gig and it was already hot.
I enjoyed a wonderful night’s sleep of eight hours, two more than usual. I was facing a busy, busy stressful day and later hoping to perform well for the gig.
After breakfast I made a to-do list to pick up a few things, stop by the office, pharmacy and music store.
I unhooked my cell phone from the charger and noticed I had received a late night call at 11:45 p.m. I didn’t recognize the number and went to the car to start my rounds. I backed out of the driveway and stopped at the top of the hill to return the call of the unfamiliar number.
It didn’t ring but a popular and beautiful religious song began playing. I guessed it was a new type of ring tone. The song was “I Can Only Imagine,” by the group Mercy Me. The song was soothing and pleasant to listen to.
I wondered, “Who could the call be from? Maybe it was from my pastor.”
I waited for the strange caller to answer the phone. No answer. I was prepared to listen to the standard, “I’m not in or I’m on the phone talking to someone else. Leave your phone number and I’ll call you back.”
Instead the message said, “Remember, Jesus loves you, and I’ll be happy to call you back.”
I didn’t recognize the voice and hung up. It must have been a wrong number. But, I thought what a great way to start the day with a stranger saying something so nice and peaceful. Maybe this day was going to be great.
I headed to the office. Now, this never happens. There are four traffic lights between home and office. On this morning, each light was green. That has never happened before. I made good time.
Next, I headed to the pharmacy. I took a back road with only one traffic light. It was green too.
I then headed downtown to the music store. There were five traffic lights. They were all green. What’s going on here? Is someone making my day easier? I called Judy to tell her about my special morning.
I headed home. One, two, three traffic lights and they were all green! Getting all green lights, especially in Johnson City has never happened to me before. I went through a total of 13 traffic lights and they were all green last Saturday morning. The rest of the day and evening seemed to go very well and I think it was from the telephone call. I wonder who that caller was.
A few days later, at our Rotary Club meeting, Phil Pindzola, head of Johnson City’s Public Works Department, sat down beside me for lunch.
“Phil,” I said, “I’ve got a question to ask you.”
He responded in his official position, “It’s not bad is it?”
Laughing, I said, “No it’s a wonderful thing that happened to me last Saturday. I drove through town and had all green lights.”
Phil said that sometimes in the morning, without a lot of traffic, you can catch some green lights. He also said it is virtually impossible to coordinate and synchronize every light for traffic flow all the way through town.
Okay, but I think it was the phone call.