Party of Two
Today I was in Acts 7:25-40. Cliff notes: After the disciples had shared Christ, they are on their way back but Jesus separates Philip to take another direction. "On a desert road," Philip encounters an Ethiopian (certainly God ordained) and shares the gospel. The man receives Christ and is baptized, then Philips disappears.
I was perplexed. Why they just did not embark on a great relationship? And then I was flooded with a zillion memories of experiences in travelling for my job. One in particular I’ve never forgotten. I was on the tarmac; plane stopped; it was warm in the center seat so I asked the attendant if I could switch, and I did. Well we learned we were going to be sitting there for a long while. Ironically that same female flight attendant came and sat next to me. Since my healing I’ve been bold to share but I warm it up with casual conversation until the moment where the right question is asked. Well, "the eagle landed," and for two hours I shared the miracle of Christ and His power to move and change in a moment.
Our names were never exchanged. However at the end she looked at me with tears and said she had prayed that God would show her miracles (possibly based on a family matter that had shattered her heart). I don’t know what the family matter was. The announcement from the pilot came, she disappeared into first class and I never saw her again!
In pondering this I realized the Lord has put me in a seat, in a crowd, in an unexpected place, a social setting or party, or orchestrated a seemingly random encounter where there is "the one" who suddenly shows up and I’m called to share. I never see it immediately. But because God has wired me a bit extroverted (okay made you laugh), I like people, and have seen God in seemingly random encounters. I have a heightened sensitivity to listen for the clues! Many times it ends up as a "party of two" temporarily extracted from the noise of the crowd and deep conversation ensues. No one else even hears it!
I’m in awe of this always and hardly ever short cut it to "get back to the party." Because at that moment the "desert road" is vitally important. It is extremely rare when a subsequent friendship ensues; but that is not God's purpose many times. His purpose is impact and He was in charge of the Ethiopian long-term; not necessarily Philip! I’m certain God sent another to strengthen the Ethiopian in his long-term walk!
This is a breathtaking story as I peeled it back and slowed it down. Phillip planted, another would water, but God would give the growth!