“Are you Christians?”
I stopped talking to my friend and looked over to see a young man looking at us as if waiting for an answer.
“Are you talking to us?” I said.
“Yes… are you Christians?” he asked again.
“Yes we are,” I replied.
“I knew it,” he said and then he began telling us that he had lived his whole life for God and that even though he had done that, a whole lot of bad stuff had still happened to him.
It was very obvious that he was very upset with God, the church, and Christians.
Before speaking to us he had already spoken to other people in the room and they had all told him to go away. Now even though he didn’t know us he kept rambling on and on, telling us what seemed to be his whole life story. Most of what he was saying was really uncomfortable to take and no matter what we said to try to make him feel better he still kept rambling.
The man was also very strange and he was loud. To be honest he made me feel extremely uncomfortable and also embarrassed because he was drawing the attention of others in the room. Also, I really didn’t have a clue as to what I could have to say that would have been of any help to him. After about 10 minutes of his rambling, like the others who had sent him away, I too was wishing this guy would go away.
His stuff was hard, WAY too hard…. and the truth is this wasn’t the conversation I had envisioned myself having this morning over breakfast.
Today I was having breakfast with my best friend who had moved away last year. She had been back in town for a couple of days for family business and we had planned to get together this morning for breakfast before she went back home. I had been really looking forward to this visit with my best friend.
The plan had been girl talk over breakfast but now instead of my friend and I chit chatting about our lives there was a complete stranger telling us about his life!
A lot of what he said was uncomfortable and also very disturbing to me. He told us that he had been to several churches in our area seeking help and answers about God. From what he told us, it looked as if instead of them sharing God’s love with him he was looked down on and given a bunch of rules of which he had been unable to follow. And now it was pretty obvious that he was coming down pretty hard on himself for his inability to be the ‘perfect’ person that he believed God expected him to be.
This all made me feel sad.
This man was hurting and when he had turned to the church for help he had been pushed away and made to believe that he was not good enough for God.
Our whole breakfast was spent talking to him, and though we tried our best to help him. unfortunately a lot of what he said we really had no answers for.
Eventually, it was time for us to leave. so we told him goodbye and went on our way, but when I got in my car to go to work suddenly this feeling came over me that I should have prayed with the man. A few seconds later my friend called me and we began talking about our experience with the man and we both admitted that we had wanted to hang out with each other instead of talking to him I then mentioned to my friend how the feeling that I should have prayed with him had come over me. She said if I felt that way maybe I should go back.
When she said that suddenly I knew I had to go back.
But I didn’t want to go back! Uggh it would be so uncomfortable and what would I say??
“Just go back” kept running through my head.
Reluctantly, I made a quick turnaround and as I did the giant tea that I had just bought tipped over and dumped all over the floor of my car. I pulled into a parking spot wanting to clean up the mess but I knew the mess had to wait because I had a strong urgency going through me that I needed to get back inside the restaurant right then.
I know this sounds crazy but its true.
As I started walking back into the restaurant I could see him sitting by himself in the back with his head down. I felt nervous, with a feeling of how embarrassing this could be… what if he said no?… I don’t pray out loud well…what will I pray about?? Tons of things were going through my head but then suddenly a feeling of boldness came over me so kept going. As I walked through the restaurant I could hear a hush come over the room as every person around him quit talking. These were the same people who had told him to go away and now I could feel every eye on me as I walked back toward him. He still wasn’t looking up and as I began to speak it was so quiet that you could have heard a pin drop. “Hi … um Z__,” he looked up at me as I said, “would you mind if I prayed with you?”
He seemed a little stunned but said, “Well… I guess you could do that.” So I reached out and took his hands and prayed.
When we were finished I opened my eyes and saw that his eyes were filled with tears and then he said this to me… “God told me to come here today and he told me you were going to be here. Thank you for coming.”
God told him I was going to be here today???!
I really didn’t know what to say but I heard the words “your welcome” come out of my mouth.
Even though I left the man in the restaurant this morning, I somehow feel as if he has stayed with me all day.
God told the man I was going to be there today and I had almost missed it!
After I got back to my car I remembered the dumped tea. I had thought the carpet would be ruined for sure by that time but for some strange reason, all I had to do was shake off the floor mat. The tea didn’t sink into the carpet at all but hopefully, the lesson I learned today will sink deeply into my brain.
Since today is Music Monday I want to share a song with you that I feel goes really well with this story and is also one of my favorites right now.
I hope you enjoy — Christ in Me by Jeremy Camp.
Have a great week!