I’ve had the privilege of getting to know two men in my community. Randall (not his name) lives on my street. I’ve had more conversations with Randall in the last two years because he walks his dog every day. We chat, I hear his stories, and he asks me questions about my life. He’s a good guy and I pray for him and for opportunities to share my faith with him. It’s taken a long time to find out that he trusts me even though I’m a pastor, that he grew up Jewish (but it doesn’t mean anything to him), that he loosely leans Buddhist, and that he’s a recovering addict who just recently retired from a good career in nursing. He’s a good guy who chats with everyone in our neighborhood.
The other man I’ve met is Mark (not his name) who came to our churches food distribution with 2nd Harvest Food Bank. Mark and his wife have come every 2nd and 3rd Tuesday of every month for two years. They get fresh fruit and produce and they are so very grateful for the help. Over time I’ve learned more about Mark; his health struggles, his unemployment, and his church background. Mark is a soft-hearted, tender man who always asks how I am doing. Over time Mark’s learned more about my story, and I’ve learned more about his story, and Mark has now become an incredible help to our distribution team. He first serves others all of the their food and only after everyone else has been served does he pick up the food he needs.
As I worked with Mark yesterday it dawned on me how much I want God’s renewal work in this world, and in people, to be a wham, bam, get on with the plan, kind of proposition. I want God to hurry up and get it done, while God is in no hurry as He moves to accomplish His plan. Mark and Randall remind me all over again how slow, purposeful, patient, kind and non-pushy God is when He is bringing anyone to Himself. So even though I’m an impatient soul, I tip my hat to the Heavenly Father for the beauty of His measured pace.