Monday, April 07, 2003
:: RELEVANT magazine :: Encounter With A Prophet.
I had this kind of thing happen to me once. I had been having a particularly tough time in "ministry." We'd left one church, being called to serve alongside Pastor Mike at another church downtown. Then we'd been voted out of position there and were establishing a new non-denom church. But it was all so new, so fast, and I wasn't seeing any results, only feeling pulled and stretched in new and painful ways. I'd basically left behind alot of friends, mentors and people I'd "done church" with for fifteen years. I was vulnerable, open to letting God lead me - but it hurt, and I was so unsure of any calling, any direction, anyone else needing me to do whatever it was I was being led to do.
Anyway, I went to a christian bookstore. That was my deal - look at books, look at CDs, spend some $$ and internalize it to deal with it. I'd had a pretty bad morning at work, too - people getting laid off, losing friends, not knowing if I should even be at work since I was "called" to ministry now, etc. I went to look for something new, music or a book to drown the voices, I guess.
As I walked past the guy at the cash register, while he was helping another customer, he said, "Hey, you're a pastor, aren't you?" I said, "yeah, just looking around," and I headed for the back corner with the CDs. I looked, but didn't see much - too busy thinking about how this guys would know? Did I know him? Did I *look* like a pastor? Not particularly, in buisness casual on my lunchbreak.
I picked something out - probably JOC or something at that point of my life, and I walked to the register. "How did you know?" I asked.
"Well, I just see it sometimes. God shows me things. You need to know that He has called you. You're right where you're supposed to be."
I thanked him, and he probably noticed I was noticably tweaked by that exchange. I got in my car, put in that new whatever-it-was CD, and wept in real joy in the drive back to work. It's like God chose that moment, in that store, through that man to say, I've got you right here, close to me. I know what I've called you to do, and you're in the middle of it. I'm closer than you think, seeking you as you're seeking after Me...
Sometimes I feel like I need more of that now. Other times I remember that story, like I did tonight - and remember that he's already told me what's going on.