Moses, a Friend, and a Stranger
I have been walking with the Lord…oftentimes limping…sometimes even being dragged for 15 years now. Along the way, there have been people who have imparted such wisdom and have shown me such love, whose witness has impacted me, who have left an indelible imprint on my life. There have also been people whom the Lord has used to woo me, who never knew the impact they would have on me. They were simply living their lives (some louder than others) while I was watching and listening…while He was wooing me…drawing me.
I was probably 13 years old when “Moses” became our new neighbor. I don’t believe I knew his real name. My brothers named him Moses because he carried a bible constantly. I never saw him leave the house without it and the only time he ever talked to me was to ask me whether I was saved. Saved from what? Naturally, we thought he was a nut. He was bold and brash, a strict disciplinarian. I felt sorry for his daughters. He both intimidated me and sparked a curiosity within me and all these years later, I never forgot ole Moses.
Then there was my co-worker friend, Clare, a bubbly, charismatic, Irish Catholic girl who it seemed left one way on a Friday and came back a totally different person on Monday. I never quite got the back story of Clare’s conversion because she simply freaked me out. I secretly judged her while at the same time I was completely taken by her and totally intrigued. I thought surely she was confused and certainly hell bound having left the Church, but I was so curious about this new Clare. I wondered what happened to the old Clare. I could not get over the change and as she spoke I thought “how in the world does she remember all those scriptures and what in the world do they mean?” I don’t remember Clare ever trying to impose her beliefs on me although she certainly was not shy about what she believed. She seemed so confident and knowledgeable about this Jesus thing. We eventually parted ways but the impression she made on me was a forever one. One thing that was undeniable about Clare…she had been touched and I saw Jesus in her eyes. I never forgot Clare.
Years later, I was sitting by myself having lunch, in the middle of a pity party in the Plaza, when out of nowhere this young woman approaches me and takes a seat next to me. She wore a pony tail and a smile and had a soft voice. She began probing into my life and I wasn’t budging. I rather enjoyed being pitiful, okay? She finally got around to inviting me to her church. I told her I was a Catholic (a non-church going, infertile, depressed, fighting with her husband, Catholic) but hey, I had a church..had no idea how long it had been since I’d visited, but I belonged there! She persisted, telling me that her church meets in a gym while they are believing for a building. I totally thought she was a part of a cult. No thank you. Every day after that I would duck when I saw her – even pretending to be asleep many times and this girl was relentless. She would pass by me calling my name…”Arlene, is that you…are you sleeping? Just wanna tell you that Jesus loves you.” Ugghhh!!! She annoyed me…Eventually, she moved on and I never saw her again, but I never forgot her.
Three different people over many years in three different states; three memories forever etched in my heart and one big, loving, relentless God in hot pursuit of me. Know this…someone is always watching your witness, recording your words, being impacted without your even knowing and those times that you are seemingly rejected as you share your faith, recognize that you have planted a seed and He will see to it that that seed gets watered and after the harvest, many, many years later you just might meet up again…if not here, then there for sure. Oh happy day!!
“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.” 1Corinthians 3:6