Gator was mulling over some recent friends that came instantaneously and once having befriended him, walked out of sight, mission accomplished. Those memories stick and stand out when found in our soul memory, recalled years later with clarity and a smile. The important memories. It could be someone found us in need or we did the same to another stranger.
It usually begins with a smile and spoken word or three. “Can you help me?” or “Are you OK?” No hustle seen in their eyes, no agenda except contact given. Gator recalls wandering about in the big box, seeking a certain odd piece of weather-strip. A man near where it should have been. Not an employee. Gator asked him if he knew of this thing and he did. The man immediately walked a ways to the west (built in magnetic field detector, all Gators have them) It was quite a few aisles away and found among a special display of woodworking specialty items.
Thanking the man for being so kind and going way out of his way, Gator realized something that is also a detector within. He has to pay attention to use it and be bold when it comes forth. Gator looked the man in the eyes and asked, well proclaimed: “You are a Christian aren’t you” Yes was the smile. A hand of brotherhood, a gift of fellowship.
Another time, another big box, parking lot this time. It happened in in an odd way. Gator had his purchases (including the newspaper his recent column was in) and getting close to his car he noticed an anomaly. The rear bumper was in a bit of a decline, bad dent and a few scratches for accent. Awful.
Somewhat surprised and puzzled, Gator figured someone didn’t like the way he was parked. He made a rather loud noise but didn’t rant and rave nor drop his purchases which were intended for the trunk. A woman approached him from a parked car and began telling him she was sorry and Gator was relieved that she had stuck around. Calm now, information was exchanged. Her insurance company, phone number. The usual things. She thought her brakes failed so Gator, assuming his professional auto repair persona checked her brake pedal and told her it was safe to drive home. She said again how sorry she was and Gator stayed calm but somewhat dismayed at the body work that it would take. Photos were taken. She told Gator she was frightened at a confrontation and very pleased at Gator’s calmness.
Later that day, she called and told him her address which Gator had forgotten to write down. She had already called her insurance agent. Gator thanked her and then knew what to say: “you’re a Christian aren’t you” She asked how Gator knew and he told her, “it shows, I could tell” She was somewhat surprised and was very encouraged. Things went well for her, Gator also knew that. It will come to you too, this wonderful conversation. As you once again pilgrim, walk over a bumpy section of the path, at a crossing, stop, look and listen and you will hear His gentle encouragement;
“Tell them I know them. As I know you. This will give them My joy.” Be bold, listen to the Lord of all creation and tell world what you hear. It’s pretty good. Jack Gator