Last Wednesday, Dario and I sat in the church and pastor Freddy began a study about the different types of intimacy necessary in a healthy relationship (emotional, intellectual, physical and spiritual). A woman came in, nodded and smiled at us, and sat down next to her husband. I didn’t think anything of it, but Dario said, “Wow…what a miracle, she smiled!! I have NEVER seen her smile!”
After the service, a few of our friends were in an uproar about an accident and almost getting run over by a drunk guy in a big truck right in front of the church. We walked down the street to find the rest of our gang. True to the rumors, a VERY drunk man, who couldn’t even stand up on his own, was leaning against a 3-day old SUV, trying to cover up the damage he had done to the back bumper with his giant truck/trailer. His wife was arguing with the owners of the car, who just so happened to be that couple from church (smiling woman). The couple was trying to reason with the woman that if she just signed something stating that she would pay for the damages to the car (which they figured would be around $200, they wouldn’t call the police and her husband wouldn’t get hauled off to jail (…yeah… things work a little differently down here in the DEEP South!!). The woman was ranting about being well-known and knowing all of us (including me). She just so happened to be the Aunt of two boys who have been helping with Cristo Vive (her son Paul also helped us in December), and she went on about how if they were Christians, they should just forgive and let it go…
Long story shortened, we were able to talk the woman into signing the paper, and in the midst of some calmer moments, the woman who owned the car told her that she understands the difficulty of living with an alcoholic husband, and that she has been trying to get her own struggling husband to church for a very long time – he finally came that night – and look what happened!!! We (Dario and I) tried to encourage both parties, helping to retrieve papers and driving the nerve-wracked Señoras to and fro, until things were resolved. And, when it came time to say good-bye, Dario shook hands with the man from our church and said, “Don’t let this be a reason not to come back to church.” To which the man replied, “If anything, this gives me more reason/strength to return.” I don’t think he was talking about the car, but about the support he had received from a bunch of “jovenes” (young people) from the church.
I have been thinking about all of the people involved: Paul, my friend, who had to help carry his drunken father home, and his mom, who must be both ashamed and worried; the couple from the church; wondering if her prayers concerning her husband would be answered. Also, Dario and I why were we there? Are these things simply coincidence?
Well, Sunday came, and as I was walking down the aisle greeting people, I was pleased to see the couple (I still haven’t found out their names!) sitting side by side, with smiles on their faces.
I don’t think accidents just “happen”, but I do think, as they say, that ministry happens, on a daily, even moment by moment basis, in our homes, workplaces and neighborhoods. One never knows when an opportunity to share the love of Jesus will present itself.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 ESV