ME AND THE COZARTS
So I was practicing my Spanish with a friend at Books-a-Million.
Then this older gentleman who looks vaguely familiar asks
"Did you ever work at the Schooner II?"
He then calls his wife Betty and she hurries to the store to meet us. I worked front desk at a hotel half a decade ago for about a year. I have often wondered why! : )
Every time this couple came to visit I just wanted to love on them and after all these years that is what they remembered. That tough year trying to learn how to give good customer service wasn't wasted at all!
I often thought the same thing about my last job. I worked as a Mentor but the system was NOT well-designed to benefit the kids. So we had a heavy weekly load with too many kids to serve well. But we did our best. None of my kids made amazing progress and the law ended up shutting it down because the owner committed fraud (unbeknownst to us). When I was hired I resolved to be clear and courageous IF opportunities to share my faith presented themselves. I should have thought "when" they present themselves. Because they DID.
At our staff training I was invited, quite on the spur, to sing "Now Behold The Lamb", I shared about Abiding Village(a christian arts program) as a place where our kids could receive free arts training, and I invited my coworkers to church with me. This past Sunday one of those co-workers accepted Christ at our Palm Sunday Service!
I was chastened again for thinking any part of my life, where God sovereignly placed me, was wasted!
I often say when presenting that my goal isn't to raise money: it's to spur us all to Love Christ and share the Gospel every day with ourselves and with the Lost where we are planted. Sometimes that results in new supporters. Sometimes not. Last week I spoke at The Pilgrimage. It was a small intimate family church. No new supporters. But this week the Pastor sent me this message...
"One of my church folks was interested in the three of us getting together so we could talk more. He's a teacher, so what's your schedule like in late afternoons and evenings? Just between us, I've been working on him for years and I think he's getting close spiritually."
It would be so easy to look at that day at The Pilgrimage Church as wasted if all I cared about is new supporters. The truth is I would trade being fully funded for being able to impact this young man's eternity!
That is what my call to France is REALLY about, that is what Brie Church is already doing, and that is what we are called to do NOT only in France but in the city where you live, with your family, friends, coworkers, customers and even the strangers you pass on the street.
A few days after these two events I was in my office (Barnes and Noble) when I saw a couple struggling with a Nook because their fingers were too large for the touch screen. They were elderly and not frustrated but clearly having difficulty.I remembered I happen to have 2 extra styluses.(Looks like a pen with a rubber tip, replaces your finger with more accuracy on a touch screen). I prayed and debated about whether they would be offended or relieved by me noticing their difficulty. Courage won.
God in His mercy was prompting me to reach out, NOT so I could help them but so they could strengthen and encourage me. See, they are retired missionaries from Canada, thinking about moving to Myrle Beach. When they learned I willsoon be a missionary they began to...well...LOVE me. I can't call it anything less. Here's what I tweeted afterwards "Just met Dan & Shirley McDonald fr Canada (retired Nurse w/Intervarsity) who just spoke encouragement & grace that stirred & left me undone"
I think what I'm hoping you will hear is:
1:Your life isn't merely about what God wants to do FOR you
2:It's about what God wan't to do THROUGH you and TO you!