It’s been a crazy couple of days at our church offices. First, our copier/printer ran out of toner. And apparently, there is a national shortage of toner. Right now it looks like it will be delivered on Friday – hopefully.
Then, AT&T decided to replace our phone line on Tuesday morning. We have been having some trouble periodically and this seemed to be the best solution. They said it would mean that our phone/internet would only be down for about 30 minutes. 6 hours later, the first guy left and said another guy would be coming before the end of the day and get us up and running. Of course, he never came.
No copier/printer, phone, internet, email meant the next day I called AT&T and went “Old Testament” on them. They promised someone would come and finish the job. Well, someone did come. When he finished, he came inside to check that our phones were working. As he stood in our offices, he asked, “So, what is the real ‘F’ word?” (He was reading our church calendar.) I told him it was “Forgiveness” and then told him about the series we were doing. Almost in tears, he then said, “Can I ask you a question? How do you do that? How do you forgive when someone has hurt you terribly?”
Are you kidding me? Guess what my sermon is on this Sunday? Forgiving others! For the next 10 minutes we talked about forgiveness and the deep pain he was experiencing. He then asked, “Do ya’ll baptize by immersion here?” He saw on our calendar that we are having a baptism service on Sunday. “Why do you ask?” I said. “Well, I was talking to my dad the other day and he told me that I needed to get baptized by immersion. I was sprinkled when I was a baby, but now that I know what I’m doing I need to get baptized by immersion.” Again, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Thanks for the softball, God!
I then asked him to follow me into our auditorium where I showed him our portable baptistry that we had just set up two days earlier. We talked for a few minutes longer and I got to tell him what baptism represents and how it fits right in with our forgiveness and how God’s forgiveness allows us to forgive others. He also asked if we had a Youth Group. He has a son who has never been to church. He works on Sunday, but said that he might come after work to our 6PM service and get baptized.
Will he show up? I don’t know. But I do know this, there are no accidents in the Kingdom of God. And if we let Him and if our eyes are open, God even uses our frustrations, like a down telephone line for His glory.