11 May, 2016

Just a Few Minutes Can Make a Real Difference

Yesterday I needed to drive over to Bloomington to meet with someone, so I decided to just leave early and take my wife to work, then drive her car over to Bloomington and then come back and wait for her to get off. I figured it would save on gas, even if I had to find a way to kill a couple of hours. I took my iPad with me so that I could work on my Wednesday night study for church. After I dropped off Libby, I drove over to McDonalds and have breakfast and work on my study before heading on to Bloomington. I ordered a breakfast burrito meal and sat down to eat and had just opened up my notes when I saw an elderly gentleman sitting by himself drinking a cup of coffee. I said good morning to him and we exchanged a few comments and I turned my focus back to my notes. But something about this guy was pulling on me. I asked him if by any chance he'd like my hashbrowns. He said no, and I told him that I really did not want them and I hated throwing food away. I started to look for someone else to give them too and he stopped me and said, "if you are going to toss them, I'll eat them."  He told me that he was not homeless or poor, and explained that he'd run a construction business for years and he lived a comfortable life now that he'd retired and he had given the business to his son. I asked him what type of construction business and his face lit up. He asked me to join him so I moved my things over to his table and we sat and he told me about his life and business. 

His name was Antwain, and he was from Louisiana but had moved here back in the 1960's for work and had stayed. I asked and he told me he was now 88 years old. He told me how his wife had died and he'd met a woman from Kenya 10 years ago and remarried. She came in a little while later, but we were so engrossed in conversation that she got up and went to another table to talk with someone she knew. Antwain was so excited as he was telling me about his life and business and his eyes just twinkled as he told his story. After almost an hour I told him that I was going to need to run in just a moment and explained I had an appointment in Bloomington as I was packing up my iPad.  Then he said to me, "You've just made my day today. No, you've made my week. It felt so good having someone to talk to."  Then he commented how that when he was a young man a white man and a black man could not have sat in a public place and enjoyed such conversation. He commented how that it did not seem to matter to me what color his skin was and I said, "you mean to tell me you're black!"  He just cracked up laughing. Before I left, I told him how much I'd enjoyed his company and conversation and I said to him, "Antwain, I've heard you talk about your life and you've had a good and happy life... but I was wondering, do you know Jesus?"  He said, "I used to, but I have not been to church since I was a young man."  I said to him that all of those things he'd shared would not matter one bit once he died, and that what mattered was not his business or homes or trips, but if he knew Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Tears welled up in his eyes and he said, "You know, you are right."  He did not accept Christ with me right there, but he did allow me to pray with him and before I left he called his wife over to the table and told her what we'd just spoken about and he told her that he was going to church with her this Sunday. I pray he keeps that promise.

I've been thinking a lot about this since yesterday morning and I thought about how if I'd been so fixed on the need to study for my Wednesday night lesson (ironically, on personal evangelism) that I'd have missed a golden opportunity. So I share this today to encourage anyone who reads this to release your schedule and open up the possibility of what just might happen if you give someone a few minutes of your time. It just might make a difference in eternity. 

No comments: