On Wednesday, I ran home during lunch to grab a bite to eat and take care of a couple of things. As I'm wrapping up and about to head back to work, there is a knock at my door. So I open it and, uh oh, it's a door-to-door salesman. I have to admit my first instinct is to run or try and make myself disappear.
Anyway, the salesman is a young college student who is selling educational books for a summer job. He gives me the sales pitch and I pull out the 'my wife's not home and I would need to talk to her first' card (amazing how you can lean on the wife or the kids as a convenient excuse to get you out of nearly anything).
As we're wrapping up, I learn that his parents are missionaries in the Philippines but are back in the States right now as his dad had been suffering from cancer and some other medical challenges. Through our conversation, I started to see him not as an annoying door-to-door salesman but as a human being with needs, struggles, dreams, and hopes.
I asked him if I could pray for him and his dad and so I prayed for him there on the porch. I said 'Amen' and opened my eyes and tears were streaming down his face. He commented about how God works in weird ways. We exchanged good-byes and we both went on with our day.
This morning I opened my front door and a piece of notebook paper fell off of my door onto the ground. As I reached down to pick up the paper, it just had the word 'Grace' written on it. I opened up the notebook paper and inside was a $50 dollar bill with the following words written...'Pastor Brian, God shows up in weird ways. He puts us through things to grow us. Sometimes He uses people to bless us. Thank you for letting God bless me through you. Your heart shines through. Keep pointing to the Dad who loves us so much. - God bless, Josiah Fogle.'
What's cool about this story for me is that God used both of us. I felt like I didn't do much that afternoon other than listen, show some kindness and say a quick prayer for a young man. Yet, God in His mercy used those little actions to work in his life. Then God uses Josiah in a huge way to illustrate grace to me through his note and generosity right when I needed to hear that message. I am reminded that every day we have the opportunity to be a conduit of God's grace to one another. It reminded me that the salesman, check out ladies, garbage collectors, and bankers are all just human beings like me.