I was reading some past writings and, upon reading this one from about five years ago, I felt moved to share it once again. What an example. Where are you, Mark?
‘But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” ‘ 1 Samuel 16:7
There are no coincidences. God places us where and when He’d have us for His purpose.
I was on my way home tonight, on the bike, and needed gas. The station I normally fill up at was closed when I arrived. I found that odd, but turned around and headed to another. As I pulled up, I noticed a man fixing to cross the street, headed for the gas station parking lot. I didn’t like the looks of him so, as I stepped off the bike, I positioned myself so as to be able to keep an eye on him. As he passed me by, he bid me a good evening and I did the same. He responded with, “Jesus is coming again!” I replied, “indeed He is!” The man stopped and asked, “do you mind if I pray with you?” What?! When does this happen?! When have I ever offered to do that with a stranger? Shamefully, I don’t believe I ever have. Who does that?! Answer… this man! I accepted.
To paint the picture a bit more vividly, the man approached and if I were to picture John the Baptist in jeans and a t-shirt, he stood before me. Very unkempt, beard to his chest, matted hair, sun blistered nose and dirty clothes, he introduced himself as Mark, and I introduced myself. So here, in the parking lot of a gas station, stood a modern day John the Baptist and a scruffy Harley dude with their hands upon each other’s shoulder. Mark proceeded with one of the most beautiful, heart felt prayers I’ve ever heard. He praised Jesus, prayed that God would produce a hedge of protection for my family and I. He gave thanks for this opportunity, the endless love of Jesus and thanked him for the love he had for me, his brother, and the love I had for him. He thanked God for His provision. He prayed for guidance, obedience and endurance. I felt this man’s love for the Lord and for me. It was beautiful, joyous, and humbling all at once.
Mark and I spent the next hour engaged in conversation. He told me a great deal about himself, the life Jesus pulled him from and the road He has him on now. He’s a wanderer, going where he feels the Lord directing Him, preaching the Gospel of Jesus without caution, shame or hesitancy. I listened intently, spoke very little. Mark shared with me his take on the spiritual state of the world, reluctant to say anything that he couldn’t immediately back up with scripture. Here was a man with, by all appearances, little in the way of material possession. Yet, he was kind, had a joy I see in very few who possess a great deal more, an obvious fear of the lord, a meekness and a humility that is rare in this world. He possessed a wealth in measure that I do not and venture to say I have not seen in another.
As I listened to him, I was awed. His knowledge of scripture was far superior to mine, as though I had but a childlike understanding. In fact, it would rival most anyone’s I know. I was humbled. I gave him my number, shook his hand, thanked him, and said, “God bless you Brother.” He returned the blessing and added, “love Jesus first, I love you Brother,” and walked off into the dark.
I stood there for a moment, still processing what had happened. God sent him to me and I to him. “Thank you Lord, I needed that, and so did he.” Have a blessed weekend.
In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy