“Maybe God brought me here just to meet you,” my new friend, Henry, said plainly. “I mean, it’s probably not just for that reason, but who knows?”

~ ~ ~

My coworker, Garth, came back into the office and sat on the couch across from me with Henry in the room.

“Hey, Henry, anything exciting happen over the weekend?” Garth shot me a wink. Looked like he was gonna try to pry the truth out of Henry.

Without even turning around, Henry responded, “Eh, not really.”

Garth looked at me with a massive grin on his face. I couldn’t help but smile back.

“So, no big news? No life events? Just a normal weekend?”

Henry turned around for this. “I mean, not really.” Henry glanced at me, and I just shrugged ignorantly. Two other people in the office stared Henry down with me and Garth. Four sets of eyes all asking the same question finally turned on the lightbulb inside Henry’s head.

“Oh, well, yeah, one thing . . . ”

Later that day, Henry and I headed to our Bible study spot on the second floor. Conversation on the way was more about editing newsletters than real life-stuff.

As we sat down at our table together, I gave in to the nagging questions inside. I had to ask him.

“So, Henry, what happened with the move? I knew it was a possibility, but I didn’t think anything was happening yet. Also, when exactly did this take place?”

I’d managed to maintain my composure, but my genuineness must have eked out a bit. Henry gave a kind of “uh” sound as he started his answer.

Apparently, it had all happened in the drop of a hat. His wife was offered one job, she accepted, and then it fell through right away. Before they could even process that loss, a second job suddenly appeared. She accepted, and they began planning to move.

I listened graciously yet earnestly. Henry was rather casual about the whole thing. It was as if he were talking about choosing tea instead of coffee at a cafe.

I thanked him for telling me and told him I was happy for him. And I was, for sure.

A few days after our Bible study, Henry and I chatted more about his impending departure. He had apparently set a final day at the office — four weeks away.

He’d just passed the one-year anniversary of working at my church. That’s a short time, honestly. We were discussing why God would bring him to work at the church at all, if only to be here for a year.

“I mean, I’ve learned a lot,” Henry said. “I don’t feel like I’ve contributed a ton, though. If anything, I definitely gained more from working here than I gave.”

While I didn’t agree with that, I understood where he was coming from.

“You’ve definitely been a great friend to me,” I told him. “And you’ve definitely helped me with my ministry endeavors. And I’m hoping you’ll continue!”

Henry chuckled and nodded. And that’s when he said it:

“Maybe God brought me here just to meet you.”

I was shocked. Did he really just suggest that?

“I mean, it’s probably not just for that reason,” he said, “but who knows? I’m sure our meeting was part of it — both for your sake and mine.”

A profound statement; it was so powerful to hear that from him. Honestly, in my mind, Henry was only my friend out of sympathy or pity or merely convenience.

He happened to work with me, so he might as well talk to me; it hadn’t occurred to me that Henry actually held our friendship in such high regard.

Henry has it all together, I thought. And yet he’s willing to say that meeting me was part of God’s plan? Even a plan just for his life?

I was too dumbfounded to properly respond. I just commented, “Yeah, who knows, man!”

As we finished talking, I had a new sense of strength in our friendship. What a blessing to have a friend like Henry.

Do you ever feel you were placed somewhere just to meet one person? Or vice versa? Do you struggle to believe that someone could be placed near you just to have met you and heard your story?

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