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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Redeem The Time

This has been an interesting week from a spiritual perspective. I spent some time with the elderly (91) former Pastor. He was standing on his front porch when I arrived reading the local newspaper and wondering why his wife of 65 years was not in the obituary column. She died over 4 years ago. I tried to explain the the dear Brother that he performed the services for his wife; yet, he did not comprehend what I was saying. He has been calling his neighbors to see if his wife was at their house.

He is in and out of reality. He can pray effectively, very effectively concerning matters of the heart; both his and my heart. It is difficult to understand this turn of events in the natural mind but I am getting a sense of what is going on from a spiritual perspective. Christ instructed us to work while it is yet day; for the nighttime comes when no one can work. This dear Pastor has entered into, or is on the verge of the nighttime from a natural perspective. What he has done in his life up to this point is written in the heavens; awaiting the day of accounting each of us will face.

What am I doing with the remaining days of light I am enjoying? This dear Brother is secure in his salvation; this is not an issue with him. He has been, and still is strong soldier of the cross of Christ. It is as if I am being taught as an observer to be vigilant in my walk with God; right now. The works this Pastor did, and they were good works with good fruit, in reality were not of him; God gives the increase of everything we do. Whether the work we did yields good fruit or dry fruit is whether it was done in the Name of Christ or for our own benefit.

In this context, at work this week, I met a substitute custodian who was filling in for the evening for a regular employee that was on sick leave. This poor fellow had a down cast spirit about him, has long hair and needs serious dental work. From what I have seen and heard he is avoided by most of the other crew. I have seen him before but was so busy that I never took the time to speak with him, other that a "hello". This evening was to be different.

We started to talk to one another in our office and I was dumbfounded by what he was saying. He is pushing 60 years of age and was fired as a heavy equipment operator for a major company in our area. The owner's son had just taken over the business and fired all of the elder employees. After 27 years of faithful employment he was out of a job. He drew as much unemployment as he could and is now working as a part time Custodian.

We started to talk about our family members. He is survived by one sibling. All others have passed away. I told him that I am a sole survivor of a family of six. I mentioned that life is uncertain, we do not know how much time we have left, and that it is where we spend eternity that really matters. He agreed and mentioned that he is a son of a retired minister. It was amazing because I am a former minister's son. 

He mentioned that he moved to Vermont for a brief period after he was fired and that he volunteered for a church here in the area and liked the Pastor here. After he called a few times and the Pastor told him that he needed to find another minister to call; he did not have time to talk. He then found another church to attend in Vermont and the minister harangued him into giving his last 20 dollars to a building fund at the church. He stopped going.

This fellow could not believe that I would take the time to listen to his story; he is avoided by most and has the look of a man that is in distress, rejected and despised by others. I felt like crying while we talked; and I did as I took him to prayer later that night. 

It is said of Christ in the book of Isaiah that "He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief..." and that "we hid our faces from Him because He made us feel ashamed..." I have a new understanding of this passage of Scripture. Christ can identify readily with my coworker that evening. He can identify with every situation.

We wrapped up our conversation when our shift ended by a new appreciation of both being former minister's sons. I told him that he did not need some preacher to keep in touch with God; I talk to Him everyday sitting at my own dining room table or pushing my mop at work. He said that "where two or three are gathered together, Jesus said that He was there....He was there that night.

This dear man stopped as we walked out of the school door to go home. He stopped and looked at me, stuck out his hand and thanked me for talking with him. I told this coworker to never, ever give up on God; talk to Him always, and that although we were minister's sons with serious issues about
"church" as we have known it at times, God says that all who call upon Him shall be saved. I said "KEEP CALLING" "HE HEARS!"

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