My story begins with meeting a young man named James. James is in his early twenties and originated from Pennsylvania. I was drawn to him because he was sifting through everything that was prepared and presented at the AT Kitchen site. He would move from the food and snacks to the give away table and back to the food, and back again. It seemed he was lost….searching…..finding satisfaction….then lost again. I believe that is the way we humans are until we find the satisfaction in the life-giver. I asked a few preliminary questions to see if he was open to sharing and very quickly I realized that this was a meeting set up by God.
James had recently withdrew from a Doctorate Program and was searching for something greater. He began to describe his journey and why he was walking. He really didn’t know, he just knew that there must be more than just school, career and earning a living. He was successful and educated but empty. I am reminded of the account in John when Jesus ventured to the Pool of Bethesda. The description was that there was a multitude of people that were crippled waiting for something to happen. The cruel joke of life was that it never did! Nothing happened until Jesus entered the picture. Then the 38 year infirmity vanished, strength entered useless legs, and voluntary and intentional movement was possible.
James seemed to be disillusioned by his current course with no joy and no answers to the questions of life. His expressed struggle was that he need answers to the meaning of his life. I asked him if he was familiar with the term world view, which he was not. I explained whether knowing or not every person directs their life by a set of beliefs or values that determine a course for life. This made sense to him. I asked if he minded if I shared where I have shaped my world view and he said yes and was very interested. I explained that mine begins with the truth that there is a God who has always been, He created all things and gave us His word that helps us understand Him, ourselves and this life. We discussed evil and how that is explained against the truth of a loving gracious God. The existence of sin and how it is a human problem. Our discussion traveled through the goodness of God, creation, the fall of man and the love of God that pursues us. I shared with him that for this reason he is not satisfied because he was made to have a relationship with his creator. This was a profound moment for him. I could see that this is the first time he had heard the story of God.
I pray for him daily and he is suppose to call me when he arrives in Damascus. The life we live is a cruel master and plays cruel jokes with our lives. I am thankful for a God who loves and pursues us. One who provided a way of escape that leads us to life and not destruction. As James travels the AT, I pray that he sees God in every turn, every sunrise and sunset. I pray that God travels with him and that God leads him to another believer along the way that will confirm God to him. It was a great encouragement to me to be able to disconnect and see how God initiates meetings to care for people with word and deed.
First Free Will Baptist Church