Fr Gilbert Shaw
Every morning I thank God for the day, for my life and pray that he would use my life for this day according to his will. On the surface it seems like a very simple prayer, easily said. But at the deeper levels it is fraught with peril. One never knows exactly how God will demonstrate his will through the Spirit's activity.
Standing in the midst of a crowd of parents and their kids at a fundraiser for a local Christian school stood a lone, quiet man. It was obvious that no one was engaging him. I was watched as people gave him a wide berth. It was our turn to be seated and we were asked if we would be willing to sit with a "single." Coming forward as the "single", this lone man led the way to our table. Eddie would be our lunch companion for the next 45 minutes.
Introducing ourselves Eddie's smile revealed that he had lived a life quite different from our own. Crystal meth had destroyed his teeth distorting his countenance and speech--conversation was a challenge. But, one quality was evident--Eddie loved Jesus. In fact, with pride he told about his role as the "first thief" in the passion play at his church. Having gone to a country church as a little boy, recently he had again felt the touch of God's redemption.
Eating our “fundraiser” hamburgers I became keenly aware of my inadequacy to relate to Eddie. Our lives were a study in opposites with three exceptions, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. In the embrace of the Trinity we were exactly the same--redeemed.
Finishing lunch and saying our good-byes I watched as Eddie once again stood alone surrounded by the crowd. We had prayed together at lunch, but, more significantly, I hoped that our lives had been a prayer for Eddie. We hadn't asked to be seated with him, but God had intervened and having surrendered to the Spirit's activity we were blessed to live in and for God according to the divine call.
On this day, we would definitely have been the "losers" if we hadn't eaten a burger with Eddie.