Monday, August 23, 2010

Broken Down but Not Broken

Friday before last I was in Garland having lunch with a guy new to the church. As I was driving off I was grateful for how the conversation went. It was almost exclusively about the gospel--and encouraging to talk about the grace of God.

So when my car died just 5 minutes down the road I was at peace. My mind was filled with thoughts of God's grace. Can you hear a Tomlin song in the background?

However, 3 hours later, and 3 mechanics in--my peace melted off my conscience and onto the pavement outside of Peachtree Food Mart to join the pools of sweat. Nobody could figure out the problem of my Nissan mystery machine.

Questions filled my mind.

"Am I going to get home?" "Will this be the end of my car?" "Can I afford another one?" "Can this be salvaged?" "Am I going to get mugged?"

Long story short--the mobile guy discovered the non-fixable problem I had the the car towed and we are still praying about what to do with it. But one thing that did happen was an opportunity to share the gospel when I was at the end of my rope emotionally and physically tired.

One of the mechanics was a friend of the guy I met with. He called him and this man came to help. But he didn't just stay for 20 minutes in the 102 degree temperature, or 1 hour, but for over 3 hours!

At one point I was on the phone juggling calls with AAA, my wife, and another friend who works at a dealership and I looked over at him. There he sat--next to my defunct car--waiting patiently for me to see if I needed his help for anything else. He was an amazing example of compassion and generosity.

I was floored. As I asked him questions I learned that he was born in another country--and had a Christian upbringing--and some interest in church.

I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed--so after 3 hours in the sun--mostly of us silently starring down at the sea of gray under my hood--I thought it may be a good idea to share the gospel.

We talked about the peace of forgiveness through the death of Jesus--and new life through His resurrection. As I surrendered to the Spirit's desires--I found the words to say and sensed His power. I am convicted that it has been a while since I've stepped out in faith at an open door.

It was a great reminder not only that God uses inconveniences as open doors--but more than that for me. This reminded me that He will see to it that His message of reconciliation be shared with all people--and even when we're not actively going into the world--He will bring the world to us.

Just give us eyes God.