It never fails. The times I feel the weakest God proves Himself strong. When the boys went to sleep tonight Michelle asked if I would mind going to Starbucks and picking up something. As I was grabbing my keys I had a sinking feeling come over. I knew I'd have plenty of opportunities at this Starbucks to certainly talk to someone and frankly, I just didn't want to. Not a bit.
You been there?
Lack of time in the word and prayer today left my soul feeling lean. The leanness that allows you to function--even well at times--but not thrive. Moreover, the hours leading up to dinner, clean up, bed time, spankings, left me feeling dry. Even listening to Driscoll rant about religion prior to Michelle's request, and Fee singing about being redeemed on the drive over didn't fuel faith. I was in the dry land. I know that place.
I asked the Lord to help me on the drive over. Really help. It wasn't glamorous or heroic. It was weak and desperate.
The Starbucks looked happening when I drove up. Outside a family enjoyed their drinks and a couple a smoke. I thought, "okay, I could walk around and give everyone an invite card--just leave it at that." But...I...just didn't want to. I could feel my legs get numb over that one.
I ordered my wife her favorite--a grande-skinny-decaf-hazelnut-latte (awesome) and an Americano for myself. I asked how everyone was doing and learned that the young lady at the counter was working on her birthday. What felt unusually difficult was inviting her and her friend to Grace Church. I felt like the tin man in The Wizard of Oz when he needs oil.
She seemed surprised and mentioned that she'd look into it. I doctored my drink and left--I contemplated going over to the couple but as I delayed--saw them get into their car and head out.
As I got in my van to drive off something of the familiar happened. Grace. Suddenly I felt burdened for the area. My eyes could see people everywhere again. I drove past the KFC and noticed what looked like a young man sitting by himself. I decided to stop in and say something to the guy. As I walked in to the empty KFC I noticed the figure was actually a boy--probably of someone working. I decided to order a drink (unneeded btw) and invite someone to church. I met a great gal there and invited her to Grace Church. I gave her a card. Right then 2 other employees (friends of hers) walked over and mused over the plain white business card.
"Hey--you guys need this...this is a church," she told the others.
"I have a church," one responded. The other just stared at the card.
"You guys have a church you go to?" [safe launching pad for further conversation]
They said they didn't. The girl asked about the times and her need to find a local church.
"Well, we'd love to have you...if you come don't worry about getting all cleaned up and dressed up--we're all sinners who have been changed because of Jesus Christ. That's it." [seems the Driscoll message paid off] She looked genuinely surprised.
Right about here the two guys left. "Well...that's good," she said. She said she'd consider coming. I was able to go through a few pages of the "How Good Are You?" booklet with her. The Lord gave me his heart for her. I hope I see her tomorrow.
Very thankful for what this taught me. At the end of the day (especially a dry day) it's Christ in us that we're to depend on--not our bravery--or self-sufficiency--or great feelings. There's no hope in that. No glory there (Col. 1:27). He empowers us to proclaim his gospel--even when we've neglected Him--this is the power of Christ at KFC.
"For when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Cor. 12:10)