Sometimes God orchestrates some pretty cool adventures for me.
Through a number of circumstances, a friend of mine was going to be driving one of my favorite authors, Donald Miller, to the airport. He’d been speaking at our church the night before. Knowing my adulation for him, my friend invited me to come along.
I had first read his book, Blue Like Jazz, two years ago. It completely resonated with me. I identified with his outlook, and loved the stories about his quest to find God. I adored his casual writing style. It ended up being one of my favorite reads of that year, one that I savored, chewed on and debated about at our book club. God used it as one of the most transformational books for me of all time. I subsequently bought his other books.
So when my friend invited me to accompany them to the airport, I was thrilled! Then anxious.
I have Celebrity Phobia. When I meet celebrities, I tend to get either completely tongue-tied, or I become a babbling idiotic caricature of myself when I am strung out on caffeine.
I was nervous. What would I wear? What topics of conversation would I broach?? I had only one hour with him as captive to my attention. I wanted to know everything about him! Would he be as cool in real life as he seemed from his books? My friend and I have a history of wacky adventures together. I pictured the caption of this experience: “Lucy and Ethel Take Donald Miller To The Airport. Next Time, He Requests a Limousine.”
My friend and I picked him up at his hotel early the next morning. He hopped into the back seat, and we were off.
I wasn’t disappointed. He turned out to be one of the most authentic, unaffected, easy-going men ever. We talked about our families and his dog. He talked about why he loves the area of the country where he lives, and showed me a picture on his cell phone of his favorite spot to write. I was looking at the sacred place where Donald Miller types his thoughts onto his keyboard….and they birth into books that transform hearts.
I quickly conquered my Celebrity Phobia, and felt like I’d just made a new friend. He invited us to come visit his home where he regularly hosts friends. I think he really meant it! He let me take several pictures of us together in the drop-off zone at the airport, thanked us profusely, and gave us big bear hugs.
It was an hour of my life….my ordinary world colliding with the world of an author I’d admired. A special grace from God.