I’ve debated whether or not I should share a story with you, as I didn’t want to do so with wrong intentions, however I believe this could be beneficial to all of you to hear as you may be encouraged and find love and truth within it. Therefore, walk with me on a journey to the local Starbucks…
This weekend my brother traveled the 2 hours from KC to Manhattan and spent the weekend with me for my 22nd birthday! So, what do brothers do that haven’t had any deep conversations in a long time? Well, if they’re me and my bro, they grab a cup of coffee (or a Frappucino in J’s case; he can’t handle the manlier stuff yet, haha, just messin’), sit down at a table and dig into one another’s lives!
On that note, I must let all of you know that I’m blessed with brothers like Jordan (20) and Tyler (18) who love me as much as they do. It’s a huge responsibility to attempt to encourage and lead these men as they have entered adulthood. Growing up, I despised the extra responsibility of “being the leader” and “setting the example” as my mother would say. Now, I realize that it was a gift; something that the Lord has invested in me and is continually growing as I develop more in my faith. Which brings us back to Starbucks…
We walked in…and to our dismay…EVERY TABLE WAS TAKEN. Little did I know my childish frustration over such a temporal and futile thing would be replaced with a ridiculous amount of joy and sense of God’s power minutes later…
Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted an elderly gentlemen getting up from his table…my brother and I rushed to it as if we wouldn’t get to sit ever again in our lives if we didn’t plant out butts in the wooden chairs! As Jordan went up to the counter to order his favorite Java Chip Frappuccino…I felt a wave of guilt rush over me as I realized we had likely rudely taken the man’s table before he was through….
I stood up, apologized, and asked if he was finished. “Oh yeah, I was done. Sorry if I was in your way…” Now I felt bad, as he was obviously a sweet guy. “Well sir, I’m truly sorry…” I was attempting to complete my sentence and make a move back for the table where my brother was now waiting when I felt a nudge on my heart to continue talking. The Holy Spirit revealed to me the sadness in the 60-something year old’s eyes and instructed me to not ignore it.
The small talk ensued…”How are you?…”, “What do you think of this weather?…”, I gathered that his name was Eugene, he’d had better days, and that he worked for K-State as a custodian in Cardwell, etc. Now if you know me…you know that small talk doesn’t last long and I’m one to ask deeper questions, so out popped, “So you have family in town?”
This is where God takes over…
Eugene tells me that he divorced 30 years ago, has children but hasn’t seen them since, and is here by himself for the most part…Before I can figure out what to say to such heartbreaking news, he informs me that recently he’s been diagnosed with a type of cancer and that parts of his organs had to be removed that were cancerous, etc. Eugene was scared, alone, and quite frankly needed something…something he didn’t have. He needed love. He needs Jesus.
Me: “Wow man, I’m so sorry. That is a lot for a guy to go through by themselves. I will definitely be praying for you. Do you come here often? If so, the next time you see me stop by and let me know how you’re doing, even if I’m doing homework, etc…it can wait.”
Eugene: “I’m here on the weekends sometimes. It varies due to work and treatments but I’ll definitely say hi next time….Yes, please pray for me.”
*God whispers in my ear, “What are you doing? Don’t wait…he wants me now. Pray with him now.* (My thoughts were…”God are you sure?” “How about next time?” But something entirely different came out of my mouth…)
Me: “Would you mind if I prayed over you right now?”
Eugene grabbed my arm, pulled me into a corner of Starbucks and said, “Yes! Please pray for me right now.” This man was hungry; very hungry for God. Earlier he had told me that he’d taken to praying recently, even though he wasn’t ‘religious’, because he figured it couldn’t hurt. I told him he was right and placed my hand on his shoulder and proceeded to pray over him. I asked the Lord to bring healing into every aspect of Eugene’s life; not just the immediate physical needs, but also healing for his broken heart, and fractured relationships. Then, I asked God to reveal Himself to Eugene and that he’d realize the joy and overwhelming flood of unconditional love that could be found in Christ Jesus.
I looked up after praying and saw tears streaming down his cheeks…he was in a daze…shell-shocked. God had just sent a tidal-wave of love into this man’s life and he didn’t know what to do…staggering away, muttering, “thank you. thank you. I’ll see you again, I hope…” He was lost in his thoughts….and then, was out the door.
The Main Point:
How many times has God called me to do something similar and be bold in sharing the love of Christ with someone? Many!!! How many times have I been obedient? Very few. There is no greater adrenaline rush, no greater adventure or thrill, no greater challenge than stepping out in faith into something that you, yourself, are incapable of doing. Without the grace of God, I wouldn’t have been capable of taking the conversation to a spiritual level. In fact, that was ENTIRELY God’s doing. I just had to submit to His will in this situation and willingly share my faith…this time in the form of prayer. Hopefully next time, in the form of some sort of solid Gospel presentation. All of which can plant seeds to the transformation of one’s life into the image of Christ, that they may inherit the Kingdom of God and begin multiplying in number as well!!!
There are so many others that you and I see each day that are desperately hurting…desperately in need of unconditional love, peace, and the immeasurable grace that God has to offer them. We are His ambassadors. We are His servants. We are His people. Will we submit? Will we serve? Will we love?
Take courage family of Believers and remember Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Our God is WITH YOU wherever you go.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)
Be willing to shock others with the Good News; with the fact that God loves them deeply and desires a relationship with them! And then pray….pray fervently that they would come to stand in awe of their Savior and King, Jesus Christ!!!