Yesterday we talked about the simple door opener for sharing Christ: “How can I pray for you?”
I wrote that post last Wednesday when my family was in the middle of having some repairs made in our back yard. As the workers sweated away in the back yard, I typed in my office, happy in my air conditioning. I finished my post, writing this challenge: “Today, let’s you and I look for someone who needs our prayers.”
Looking out in the yard, I noticed a worker I hadn’t seen before; someone from a different company so I headed out.
That’s when I struck up a conversation with Jimmy.
Jimmy has not lived in Charlotte long. In fact, when he first moved here, he didn’t really like it; wanted to move back to where he was from. But he stuck it out. We dialoged for a few moments about the differences in the South and where we both were from and then I began to have that nagging, “I’ve got to get back to work” feeling. That’s when I felt that first nudge:
Pay attention to the person in front of you.
I decided to spend a few more moments listening to Jimmy.
After heading inside, I located my checkbook. As I began writing my check, I noticed my pen. My pen from my church. (I go to a church that encourages us to steal the pens!)
Ask Jimmy to church came my second nudge.
Ever take a spiritual gifts test? I have and evangelism isn’t one of them. I know asking someone to church and sharing the gospel are not the same thing, but I get scared doing both! I told God, “I’ll ask Jimmy to church if I see him again.”
When I looked out in my backyard, there was no Jimmy to be seen.
I’m sorry to say I felt relieved. I didn’t have to do the scary thing. As I walked through my back door, my eyes looked through my house, all the way out the front door.
There stood Jimmy; finishing packing up.
You can see Jimmy. More nudges.
I had to obey.
Heading down my drive, I decided to act like I was getting my mail. I actually was. When I reached the mailbox, Jimmy was busy talking to another worker.
“He’s tied up, Lord.” I thought as I grabbed my mail and prepared to head up the drive.
You saw Jimmy. I felt Him pointing out.
The Lord wasn’t letting me off the hook. I meandered over toward the workers. Feeling completely awkward, I joined the conversation until the other worker left. That’s when I started a new conversation, “Jimmy, you said you were new here. Have you found a church because you should check out mine?” and I handed him my pen.
Jimmy looked down at the pen and then looked up at me. I knew he wanted to say something. Honestly, I was so afraid of what would happen next.
What happened next was Jimmy poured out his heart. I shared with him how good God was and it would help him to find a group of guys to go through life with.
After a few minutes, I again tried to button things up so I could get back to work.
But you didn’t pray for Jimmy. I felt in my spirit.
“Here, Lord? In the middle of my cul-de-sac? What if my neighbors see me and wonder what I am doing talking to man?” I quickly prayed (or was that called reasoned).
That’s for me to deal with. I felt Him reassure me.
So, I simply said to Jimmy: “Can I pray for you?”
He said, “Yes!”
And then I did my best to pray the most unchristianese (I know that is not a word) prayer I have ever prayed, beginning with: “God, sometimes life can be stinky ….”
Yep, that is what I said: life can be stinky.
After I prayed, Jimmy looked up and said, “God is here. Right here! That was the most powerful prayer I have ever heard!”
Friends, I tell you this not to boast whatsoever except to boast in God. He is so amazing!
If we simply make ourselves available, He will show up.
Even in our cul-de-sac!