Friday night, I had a long conversation with a guy who approached us looking for a pair of dress pants. He was hoping to start a new job this week and needed black pants. He was wearing a ball cap, sunglasses (complete with silver skull on the bridge of his nose) and covered in tats. He said he was hoping his job came through because his felony record made it hard for him to find work. He explained his criminal past and admitted his past struggles with addiction. Listening to him tell his story was like hearing most folks talk about their Summer vacation. Nearly 30 minutes later, when he was telling me about a 2nd time that circumstance had landed him in jail, we approached the subject of God. I am not going to say that bringing this up ever gets much easier for me. Having had a lifetime of rubbing people the wrong way with religion, I find myself wanting to back away from this topic. Knowing that I probably couldn’t shock him any more than he had shocked me, I invited him to church. That opened up another LONG conversation about his beliefs. He was so knowledgeable (turns out his grandpa was a Baptist preacher). His knowledge of bible history was WAY beyond anything I know. We discussing how he proved (to himself) that God is real. It was unbelievable!
At the end of the night, two things stuck out to me. NEVER EVER doubt that God is working through every person and in every situation. The second thing was overwhelming gratitude that I get to be the one to hear his story. I was floored that God trusted me to be the one to listen.
My new prayer is that God will continue to make me uncomfortable. Send me that guy that most would rather NOT talk to…remind me that that is who Jesus would have chosen. Help me to not stop short of offering the same hope that has been offered to me. ~ Pam