Now I’m located in the Southwest neighborhoods of Chicago, the family provided groceries, home-cooked meals, comfort, and simply friendships. Basically, adopting me as a son, with the mom continually calling me her “foreign exchange student.” I basically exchanged a sort of uncomfortable living situation with close proximity to the city for a comfortable living situation with far proximity; the opposite of everything. As stated above, God began setting me up in situations to share His Word, which you will see soon.
The first involved Danny and I on the train back to the house. It was a casual conversation about the recent news bulletin about Chik-fil-a comments on supporting same sex marriage; where the mayor of Chicago stated he wasn’t going to accept the chain into the city because of their anti-gay stance. As this conversation began, I began to ponder and question about his opinion on the matter, leading to asking about his faith and what he believed. Looking back, I felt as if I butchered the conversation, probably mistakenly citing wrong sources or scriptures while using the Bible as the ultimate source of information and truth. At the time of our discussion, I was reading a book called ‘I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist.’ If you haven’t read this book or are questioning your Faith and why you’re here on this Earth, you must read it as soon as possible! It’s a must read!
It answers the infinite questions people may have on the credibility of the Bible and how people need to have science or literal credible facts to back the claims the Bible makes. Not spilling all the beans here, you must read it for yourself to guard against the refuting arguments people may have against the Word of Christ. Anyway, jumping forward to the day before I left Chicago for the summer, I felt obligated, confident God wanted me to give Danny this book and so I did; hopefully he has read the enlightening pages and is beginning to see the evidence of our born again Savior in his life.
The previous was one of the instances God began to lift the veil of uncomfortability between someone and myself. Even as uncomfortable as we may seem or feel, as to our level of expertise with the Bible and citing His Word, God still knows our heart. He expects us to share His Gospel even if we may feel ‘spiritually unequipped.’ “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”-Matthew 28:19 “I will also speak of our testimonies before kings and shall not be put to shame.”-Psalm 119:46. Basically, as much as we think we don’t know enough or think we’re ‘spiritually unequipped,’ we still shouldn’t be shy or ashamed to witness His great Love. And this is where scripture memorization is important to witnessing, so that we may witness at a moments notice to the whole world or through random train ride conversations.
Towards the end of the summer, the hospital partnered with my department to host another Sports Day with the patients of the hospital, but instead of having it at our location, the event took place at a nearby park, alongside the beautiful lakefront of Lake Michigan. Throughout the morning, we had several groups filtering in and out, introducing new patients to such sports like: boccia, track & field, cycling, and volleyball. As we were helping and encouraging participants through teaching techniques and retrieving implements, one gentleman stood out. He was highly encouraging, highly involved, not only in the sport itself, but very positive and praiseful to the other patients. Basically, he was being a coach, a positive role model for them. Once I got the chance, I ended up introducing myself to this gentleman and once again, God began to reveal the enormous sign above his head, “ask him, ask him, ask him if he is a believer.” And after a ten-minute discussion, it was quickly evident he was and after my question, “are you a believer,” he was quickly unyielding in his response. God was telling me, “be here for this man, serve him while he is here in Chicago.” And that’s what I told him. I’ll visit him as much as I could until he gets released, to share and speak about the Word of God. As you are reading this, you may seem like this is an insignificant moment in the summer, but it was far from it!
This man seemed to have a direct connection with God. He was so insightful, amazingly acute and his words are penetrating to this day. From his daily departing prayers to his astonishing role model behavior for the other patients, the Lord directed him to come across my path and vice versa for him. He/you may be reading this and he/you would agree! It was purely a God-awakening moment of triumph, in the face of adversity and hardship; Christ is always good, even if we cannot see why He has let certain things happen to us in our lives. He was not confined or defined by his situation. But instead, defined by Jesus Christ and how he is the always providing, at our best and our worst. He is constant. He is only good. He is sovereign. He will never forsake us. Even in the dark, even when it’s hard; this man, this unexpected relationship, conjured up by the One and Only showed me this side of our Faith. I will never forget and will always be grateful for the days we worshipped our Lord and Savior in his/your room during the summer of 2012.
Final Intermission: Hey, how about that, you made it through three periods of tedious reading, on top of a thrilling OT, only to be continued into one more stanza. Once again, thank you for making it this far. You have been great and it’s been simply amazing to reflect on some of the things I experienced. And while we’re discussing this, the aforementioned details and stories are only a fraction of the memorable moments of the summer. Unless you want me to continue writing an entire book, I won’t exhaust your time and trouble AND especially won’t subject you to anymore terrifying witticism, beyond this last manuscript, for tomorrow’s post.
See you tomorrow, thanks again!