Monday, April 21, 2008

Something to Say...

Last Thursday, Brian and I were blessed by a friend of ours with tickets to go and sit under the teaching of John Eldredge who's written a new book entitled, "Walking with God." It was a great time, and it was very refreshing. The event was in The Woodlands, and I took the excuse of going to Houston as an opportunity to take some pianos the church has accumulated to my Dad for repair and to later sell. I dropped the pianos off and had lunch with my Dad. He had an appointment so I headed to the Woodlands for some needed time of study. I landed at a couple of different places over the next several hours. My final spot was a Starbucks (which didn't exist according to my GPS).

I ordered my skinny cinnamon latte and took out my bible and notebook. I sat down at the only available table in the place which was uncomfortably close to a couple who looked to be in their mid 50's. At first glance I didn't think anything odd about the couple, but within moments it was clear there was a problem. This couple was in the middle of a huge argument, and it was an argument that had to do with whether or not they should stay together. I am a compulsive eavesdropper, and I was hearing everything they were saying (as was the table furthest away from them due to the volume of this man). I heard him drop God's name and God's will. I heard him attack her level of faith. I heard him validate his job and insult hers. I heard him take credit for things and blame her for things. I heard him place the weight of their conflict on his broken wife. I sat there and felt very strongly that the Lord brought me to this location for this event. I was trying to find two other Starbucks listed on my GPS which apparently didn't, and I was on my way to another one two miles down the road. Then, I saw this one. Could it be a coincidence that I was here for just a time as this. Two Christians struggling in their marriage, talking openly and honestly, even mentioning maybe they need to talk to a pastor. I thought to myself, "It's good that I'm here." I listened and waited for my opportunity to approach this couple, but I didn't feel it. I tried really hard to focus on the section of Scripture that I was reading from my Life Journal. I searched intently for the "Word from the Lord" from these passages that would solve these peoples' marital problems. I prayed, I waited, I listened, I studied, and I looked for the right time to intervene. To the pleasure of most of the other people studying and reading, the couple decided to head outside. I knew they weren't leaving, and I was still confident my moment would come. As they fought outside, I stared. The wife knew I was staring. I knew she knew that I had something to say. I knew she was needing someone to stand up for her. I very badly wanted to be the guy, but as I prayed for something to say, I had nothing. Very rarely am I a person with nothing to say. I begged God for something to say. I was here. I was available. I had some time before it was time to meet Brian for dinner. I packed up my stuff and awaited my opportunity to speak truth in love. Then, my boldness turned into hesitance. My excitement turned to sadness. My zeal, to brokenness. I had nothing for these people. I couldn't come up with anything to say. I was trusting God, I was listening, I was available, and I had nothing. The couple walked off, and all I could do was pray for them in my heart.

My struggle is this. If this was someone in my church, I can guarantee there would've been no shortage of words. If this would've been my friends, I would've had plenty to say. When my parents marriage was falling apart and my Mom was really having hard times, I had a lot to say. But, in that Starbucks in the Woodlands, I had nothing to say. Even a few days later, I don't know what I was supposed to do. Maybe I was just supposed to pray. Maybe I was supposed to trust God more and just talk to them trusting that the Holy Spirit would fill my mouth with the right words like the apostles in Acts. All I've got is maybes.

In the end, though, I'm being confronted with evidence that this world needs the Gospel. It can't only work in the pulpit in church. It has to work in Starbucks in the Woodlands. It has to work in San Marcos on the Tball fields. It has to work in our homes with our families, hanging out with our friends, and in the streets with our neighbors. Again, I wish I was enlightened by some supernatural revelation, but I can't say that I was. I don't feel guilty about what happened, but I don't feel good either. I don't know what this means for you, but for me it means to be better prepared to speak on behalf of the Gospel whenever the Lord arranges for it to happen. It also means to be more aware of the power of prayer. I've prayed for that couple every day since. My heart still hurts for the pain and anguish. I don't know their names, but God does, and I am thankful for another opportunity to trust Him in a new way. Hopefully, next time I'll have something to say...


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