Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

I am just now finishing Jim Palmer's book Divine Nobodies Shedding Religion to Find God (and the unlikely people who help you).

It has been a great read. Each chapter he describes someone he met who he says showed him God. A waffle house waitress, a rapper, a gay guy, etc etc.

A brief excerpt:
In chapter fifteen he talks about his friend Rick who is a tire salesman. Rick has no Bible degree, never served in any vocational ministry, does not attend a local church. He likes a good cigar, enjoys a beer every now and then, and you could often find him on the lake in his boat. But by far his greatest passion in life is knowing God. Not just knowing about God, but actually knowing God personally and intimately. His life is an example of an ordinary guy depending on Christ. I'm familiar with Christians who talk a good game but don't live it. I'm familiar with Christians who talk a good game and play at it enough to project and protect their image. I'm familiar with Christians who talk a good game and are paid and expected to live it. What I'm not familiar with are people who just live it. Believe it or not, there are actually people like this. Like Rick.

He goes on to explain how he was having coffee with Rick and a raggedy guy walked in and Rick just started talking to the guy and letting the guy tell his story. He bought the guy a hotel room so the guy could get cleaned up and have a decent nights sleep. He was down on his luck and was trying to find his estranged daughter who he thought was in Oklahoma. He had been bumming rides from truckers. Rick offered to pick the guy up the next morning and take him to a truck stop or he would buy the guy a bus ticket to Oklahoma. Jim thought to himself that the guy probably would not be there in the morning. He was and Rick took him to the bus station and sent the guy to Oklahoma.

He then wrote this paragraph:

Hebrews 13:2 advises, "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some people have entertained angels without even knowing it" (NIV)Sometimes I wonder if John was an angel in a beaten-up baseball cap sent to a coffee shop in Tennessee because God knows my own salvation will never be complete until I am free to love when no one is looking or offering anything in return. God didn't want me to start a program for homeless people, launch a volunteer recruitment campaign at church, or raise money for the local mission-all things I'm inclined to do. I think God just wanted me to see what would happen one cold night if I found myself face-to-face with a desperate stranger in need.

God used a tire salesman and a homeless guy to show God's love to Jim Palmer. I hope and pray that I can do the same. I will keep trying. It's what it's about. God's love for ALL people.

Be MoVeD!


Blogger Jeni said...

Sounds like a darned good goal to work towards to me. Gives one a better perspective of the other's moccasins too, don't 'cha think?

4:09 AM  

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