I stood up in my make-shift hotel room and began to gather my things. Just then, the maintenance man appeared from the stairwell. He curiously scanned the area, his eyes eventually settling upon my little nest.
“Hhhhhi…..konichiwa?” I stuttered.
Speaking no English and ignoring my attempt at Japanese, he nodded his head, then turned and rushed back down the stairwell. Worried about who he was rushing off to tell, I quickly grabbed my purse, leaving my luggage behind and headed down after him, while cautiously avoiding another unexpected confrontation. I walked briskly to the nearest payphone and dumped my last yen into it, praying that my mother would answer the phone. Her ever-present and concerned voice rang mercifully on the other end.
“Mom, I need your help getting out of here right away,” I rambled on frantically about my circumstances and how I had ended up sleeping on the roof and had no money to speak of.
“Don’t worry, I have arranged for the bishop of the local ward to come and pick you up at 3pm,” she calmly and confidently reassured. ”Have your things ready and his wife will meet you out front. They will get you to the airport next week on the soonest available flight I could find.”
An immense sense of relief overcame me and I thanked God for my mother and her patience. I didn’t know how I would eat that day, but I knew I would be rescued in a matter of hours and with that, I could deal. I decided that for the rest of the morning, I would take a bus to the market downtown to get my mind off of my hunger pangs and self-induced anxiety. Leaving my over-sized bag somewhat safely behind on the rooftop, I boarded a bus and headed downtown. As we made our way through the busy and overcrowded streets of Tokyo, we frequently stopped and new passengers methodically boarded and got off of the bus. At one particular stop, and young, German man boarded and sat down next to me. He struck up a conversation in his broken English and explained that he was there teaching. He questioned and prodded, and I happily spilled my story to this unguarded stranger. He was kind, and without my mentioning it, asked if I had enough money to get home. Embarrassed, I confessed that I didn’t have a cent, but assured him that I would be OK and that I had someone coming to my rescue in a matter of hours. Before he left, he handed me the equivalent of $100.00, and insisted that I take it without question or worry. My heart swelled and my eyes filled with tears because I knew he was yet another guardian angel sent to help a foolish girl in distress. Shortly thereafter, it was time for him to get off and in an instant, he had vanished. I sat marveling at the goodness and compassion of this random person, thanking my Heavenly Father for this blessing, and acknowledging His hand in my life.
“White Picket Fence II” by Wilson Tsoi
As I sat on the bus, reflecting upon the miraculous blessings of this day, my mind was opened and the Spirit spoke to my heart. Complete understanding and clarity was poured down upon my head in that brief moment. There were 2 paths before me of which I could see and understand without reservation; each with their respective emotions delivered intravenously to my heart and in distinct clarity. To my left was a path of darkness, uncertainty, emptiness and loneliness. To my right, there was sunlight, green grass, white clouds, rolling hills and vision–as far as the eye could see. Then appeared to my mind a path which led to a pure and beaming family home. Around it was a white picket fence creating a safe boundary. The house emanated genuine joy, laughter and eternal love…and there were children, including Marilyn whom I had dreamt about only weeks earlier. It represented both returning home to my Heavenly Father and a clear path to happiness during the coming years ahead. In that moment, it became obvious that I was at a real and tangible crossroads and that the decisions I would make would determine my course in life going forward, for good or bad.
I knew that the path I was on was not where I wanted to end up, but somehow my young mind could not foresee the consequences without help from above. This time was different. Help came, and I didn’t hesitate at this opportunity for change; I made up my mind that instant and without confusion. I knew it would be a decision I would never regret.