After graduating from seminary, I decided that I would get a better handle on some of my health issues. I started a walk/run regiment on a regular basis. I had been walking/running for a month when a woman that I saw regularly just asked me out of the blue whether I would run with her. I immediately said yes and we exchanged contact information.
During seminary, I had always advocated that God is not a God of coincidence. I am one of those believers that believes in the promise of Romans 8:28, “ . . .know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” In my initial limited understanding, I just thought that my good in meeting her was to help me with my health issues. I was mistaken. Of course, she did help me. She forced me to go to another level in my workout. My health did get better, so much better that my doctor did not believe it. My doctor even told me, she was going to start looking at practicing medicine in a different way.
The reason why I want to write about this phenomenal woman whom I walk/run with is that she is what we call a “Done.” A Done is someone who still believes in God and what God requires of us. He or she used to go to church regularly, but something occurred that was so painful or out of character that he or she no longer attends church.
One afternoon she tried calling me. I did not answer because I had my phone on silent. When I did attempt to call her back, she did not answer. When we finally spoke, she told me the most beautiful story. During her busy day, she “saw” a man by an abandoned building. She thought he was homeless. She was on her way to pick up her children from school, but she took the time to stop and ask him if he needed some water. (The temperature had risen to 88 degrees by this time.) She told him that she would come back and bring him some food. She went to pick up her children. When she brought them home, she gathered together enough food and bottled drinks to last him at least three days. She took her son with her and drove the five miles to minister to this stranger. The stranger thanked her for her generosity. She told him she would be back tomorrow. What a beautiful example that this Done had set for her son about love. This is what Jesus meant in Matthew 22:39 when He said to the man steeped in the temple and the law, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
This Done actually saw this man, just like Jesus saw and still sees people. Unfortunately, there are those who attend church regularly, like the scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees of Jesus’ day that would not only not “see” this man, but who would have passed him by and not even offered him a drink of water. Some regular churchgoers only see those who look like them as a neighbor. And there are some regular churchgoers, who only see neighbors that don’t look like them in a controlled environment. Are these the people that Jesus speaks of in Luke 13:25-30, whom will not enter the kingdom.
Going back to where I started, my friend and neighbor, who is a Done tried calling me several times because she thought I (being a Reverend) should be the one to minister to him. When I finally talked to her, I told her that God did not intend for her to be able to get in contact with me. God wanted her to “see” that love does not come because you attend a building on a regular basis. Love comes because she loves God and is willing to do God’s will.