On this day, November 19, 1976, my life changed. I had come home on Friday after a tough day of teaching and didn’t feel much like going out. I crashed out on my bed and was asleep before I hit the mattress. But an hour later I was up and showering and ready to get out and look for a little fun.

I went to the Blue Boot, on the corner of York and Ridout in London, as it often had a good Blues band on the weekends, but I was early and the place was flat. Worse, there were two drunken sods stirring up trouble. I left after a broken glass flew across my table and gashed my thumb. Not a good start to the evening.

I wandered along King St. to Kelly’s, which in those days was down towards Clarence, and got in line. Kelly’s was a little more upscale, and I didn’t want any more trouble. I got in line behind a couple of young ladies – nurses, I found out later – who were naturally curious about this guy behind them bleeding profusely into a paper napkin. One of them turned around a looked at me and I found myself staring into the most remarkable eyes I had ever seen. They were eyes that radiated a serene confidence and an unambiguous inquiry; grey eyes that spoke of kindness and wisdom; eyes that held no shadow of hurt. I stared and something inside me went ‘click’, like a light had just been switched on inside me.

I knew I just had to talk to that girl. When the group she was with were let in, I bulled my way past the bouncer by saying “I’m with her.” It took me a minute to convince him, and by the time I got in the place she was already at the bar with her friends, and I could see that there was a guy to her right that was turning in his chair to speak to her, maybe offer her a drink. I strode forward, put my elbow firmly on the bar between them and said to her,  “Can I buy you a drink.” She looked at my bleeding thumb, recognized me, and said “Sure.”

We talked for three hours that evening; about work, politics, children and religion. I found out she was a Christian. She found out that I had just accepted Christ two month ago. She agreed to go out with me later that week, and gave me her number. In that most unlikely of ways, God brought Pam and I together, and thirty two years later, we still are.

Advertisements