OK. So last night was weird...in a good way.
I went to church to break down my drum kit in preparation for the new carpeting coming this week. There was supposed to be a couple's study there, so I waited until 8:30 or so to go over. As I was walking up the sidewalk, the church looked dark. I saw some cars that I knew, so someone must be there. They were in the back, but the sanctuary lights were off, so you couldn't tell anyone was in the building. Yes, there is a reason I am telling you this stuff.
So, I go into the sanctuary, turn on the lights and start taking my drums apart. A few minutes later, this guy walks into the church. He had no place to stay and he and his wife wouldn't have anywhere til Tuesday. He said he saw the light on and just had to come in and ask for help. I am a cynic, so I was afraid of a scam, but I wasn't discerning anything unusual about him. So, I called the pastor and asked if we could help him. We were able to help him with a couple of nights at the hotel...turns out he had a baby in the van as well. He didn't tell me up front, probably so he didn't sound like he was running a scam trying to get extra sympathy with the baby.
So he goes out to the van to check on his family and wait for pastor to call back with the all good message. When he came back in he told me his van was running out of gas. Cynic takes over and says...is this for real? I don't carry cash as a rule, and tonight was no exception. I can't really help the guy. He understood. I offered him food, which we have in our food pantry, but that he already had. He just ran out of cash. While we're waiting, I ask myself if I should present him with the Gospel. Never ask yourself that question...present the Gospel. It's the Holy Spirit telling you, not you asking yourself. I failed, I chickened out.
So, he leaves for the hotel and I go back to my drums. A few minutes later, I look out the window and there's a van stalled in the street about a half a block up from the church. I'm thinking, this has to be the guy. I finish what I'm doing, while I argue with myself about whether or not I should go out there. I don't want to freak them out. And I would not want to have anyone offer me help because I am proud and this isn't a proud moment. So I project that onto this guy (stupid, since he's already come to me for help) and I finish with my drums. Now I go out and sure enough...it's the guy. Van's dead in the street. Some of the people from the couple's study were out trying to help him, but they didn't have enough gas to start the van. So I go home, get my gas can, weird my wife out by telling her the most cryptic of descriptions of my night so far, fill the can with gas and go back to town where the van had moved about 100 feet. None of my friends are there. Probably figured since the van started that he'd be fine. We put the gas in the tank. This time, I just blurt out "Do you know Jesus as your savior?" He replies, "Oh, we know all about that stuff." "No, I mean, do you know Him, not about him?" "We're fine, really." Well, I can't browbeat him to salvation. But I gave him a bible with some tracts in it to read. I told him, not asked him, to read it. (By the way, I have my friend Doug to thank for this style of witnessing. No preamble, no small talk...just Do you know Jesus?) Now I go wash off all the gas I spilled on myself and go home to tell my wife what happened. And then lay there in bed unable to sleep with all the excitement.
There are no accidents:
1. No one is there on Sunday nights. The couples usually meet on a different week.
2. The sanctuary is dark when no one is in it even if someone's in the building.
3. I had to wait til 8:30 to go deal with my drums so as not to disturb the couples.
4. This guys just saw the light on and had to come in.
5. His van ran out of gas IN FRONT OF THE CHURCH!
6. If we hadn't helped him, he couldn't have run the van to keep the baby warm.
UPDATE (5/18 PM) 7. Carpet was damaged in shipping...no carpet installation this week. I never needed to be there.
This guy is at a low point of his life. He needs the love of Christ. We got to show him that Love. He also needs to know that Jesus loves him and will take care of him. I kinda blew that, but God gave me a second chance (see number 5).
One question: who was this encounter for?
Don't miss what goes on around you. God has a plan, it's written in the stars. Nothing is random or accidental. If you don't believe me, go rent The Star of Bethlehem.
Always be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and be bold. Pray that He will give you the right words and the boldness to speak them. This guy didn't get saved or recommitted if he's already saved, but a seed was planted.
Lord, please send someone to water that seed. Let your love shine on him and make that seed sprout. I know you bring the increase. Please speak to that man and his family. May they see your light and your love and come to know you as Savior. And give us the boldness to do as you have commanded us...But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth (Acts 1:8).
In the blessed name of Jesus, amen.
OK. So last night was weird...in a good way.