Wednesday, March 22, 2006

My New Friend "Dylan"

I've had the opportunity to speak to several different groups in the last few weeks, and all have been a blessing to me. Last night I spoke to the students at the Wayland Baptist University extension here in Lubbock. It was a last minute thing, and I had no idea what I should speak on. I got the call at 4:30 asking if I could fill in, and the gig started at 7:15. I was really nervous, which is unusual for me, but God did His thing, and 8 people accepted my invitation to shift their trust from themselves to Christ for their eternity. It was sweet!

One of the things I touched on last night is something I've touched on in our faith community and the other places I've gotten to speak lately: our love for Christ being expressed through our love for people. That's where "Dylan" comes in. As most of you who read this know, I office at a coffee shop. I'm here every day from about 9 - 3. As a regular, I've gotten to know tons of people who come through here on a regular basis, and some folks who stop by once. One of the regulars is my new friend, "Dylan." Retired Air-force, he keeps a rigid schedule, and does not like change. I would guess that Dylan has experienced more than 75 years of life, although I've never asked. Loud, opinionated, and brash; he doesn't get received well by the other regulars here. But one day, a couple weeks ago, I engaged him in conversation. Now, he comes in and sits with me. We talk about all kinds of things. Actually, he talks about all kinds of things and I listen. Our first real conversation was about the trouble he got into at the V.A. clinic here. The trouble centered around a stool sample, which he described in graphic detail for about 2 hours! The girl behind the counter tried to rescue me that day, but it was okay. Yesterday, we talked about grace killers, military filing systems, and American culture. Today, as I sat and listened to Dylan talk about the self-centered nature of American culture, his daughter's car trouble, and the military filing system (again), God drove home a point to me in the midst of my busy schedule: My love for Christ is expressed by turning my full attention to Dylan and just listening. Today, he came and sat down on what is a very crazy day for me. But because of what Christ is doing in me, I was able to close my computer and listen, interact, and just let this new friend feel that someone cares. He spoke for a couple of hours and I just sat and listened. When my mind began to think of what I could be doing, Christ reminded me that there is nothing more important than worshipping by giving my full attention to Dylan. I smiled and nodded a lot, spoke a little, but looked my new friend in the eyes and embraced him as an expression of my love for Christ. How can I preach to hundreds of people in the last several weeks about doing this and not do it myself? Now for the fun part: as Dylan went and sweetened the tea that he always gets, I slipped off, got him a gift-card for the coffee shop, and had the girl at the counter deliver it to him without an explanation. He's set for his tea for weeks to come. My hope is that he will come in more often, and sit with me so I can love on him in a place where no one else does. In spite of how others feel or receive him, I have a new friend that I will always make time for because Jesus would.

1 comment:

K said...

you made me cry... that was so sweet of you!