A friend said to me in the washroom the other day, “So Dan, you were pretty sick for a while.”
I responded, “Yes, I had an eye problem for a couple of weeks, then bronchitis after that. In all, I had to take off more than 2 weeks of work and I guess it really took me about a month before I started to feel better again. It was pretty rough going.” Then, I added, “You never know how ‘lucky’ you are until something like that happens.”
The man was quick to respond, “I know what you mean. I think these things happen for a reason.” Then, he proceeded to show me the cast he was wearing for his broken wrist.
Now if I didn’t know any better, I would have to say that that man answered me from a distinctly “Christian” perspective. Look at his words, “I think these things happen for a reason.” That statement presupposes faith. “For a reason” presupposes that someone is looking after us. The man may not be thinking about “God” per se, but, then again, it is really hard to imagine what else he could be thinking about. So, I said, really, with a sense of encouragement, “Are you a Christian?”
He said, “No … I did go to church when I was young … but …”
“But you wouldn’t really call yourself a Christian, I guess is what you are trying to say”, I added.
“Yes,” he replied.
“I go to the Metropolitan Bible Church downtown,” I answered him. It was a “one liner” that, by God’s grace, will stick with him. Who knows but that, one day, he will be driving past the Metropolitan Bible Church in downtown Ottawa, and he will sense the need to go in, all because I mentioned it in passing. So that is why I mentioned it (and is why, generally speaking, I mention things like this — it is with the hopes that God will use it to “stir” the person to faith and hope in Christ, and help to lead them to the right place).
There wasn’t really much more I “should” have said, or “could” have said, at that point in time. Again, this was a matter of the Spirit’s leading. Even as I tried to somehow “muster” the courage to say something else positive about the Christian faith, something inside of me — I believe it was God — was saying to me, “No, you don’t need to. You’ve done basically enough.”
But I did have enough emotional and spiritual strength left inside of me to be able to say these last few words, which may indeed have a tremendous impact on him in the long run.
“I’m part of the Nortel Christian Fellowship. Check out our web page simply by typing the word ‘Christian’ into the top of your web browser.”
At that, we parted. He knew me. I knew him. He could always knock on my door if he wanted to ask questions. We’d bump into each other again. Probably very soon. I knew that everything was in God’s hands. I was happy. In fact, I was satisfied. God had done something. It was now time to move on … to whatever else God had for me to do.
It’s the type of evangelism that happens everyday.
Unplanned by man, but a part of the perfect plan of God.
“God, help me to be open to your leading today. Use me, whether in the work environment, or on the road, or at a gas station, or at the store, or while at my child’s swimming lesson, or at the bank, or simply in the confines of my own home, with my children and spouse. Lord, lead me and guide me. It is in Christ’s name that I pray. Amen.”