There is a man in our neighborhood named Tommy.
He is a kind middle aged African American man who puts on his uniform for the local Publix grocery store and walks about 2 miles or so to work almost everyday.
We have seen him walking in cold and heat and rain and blazing sun.
And I do have to admit, on more than one occassion we have stopped to pick him up and take him to work or bring him home.
Tommy is a sweet man. He is very friendly and conversational.
Lucas tends to ask Tommy a lot of questions.
But, our conversations have stayed "surfacy" at best.
Today, I was in a hurry to get Lucas to baseball practice. Tommy was walking to work. He was right at our driveway walking by. Lucas noticed him.
He said, "We should give Tommy a ride to work."
This is where I have to admit...I didn't think we had time. Or maybe it was that I didn't want to make the time. As we pulled out of the driveway, and headed out, I could NOT pass Tommy!!!!
We stopped! We asked Tommy if he wanted a ride.
Lucas was excited.
And the line of questioning began for the next 5 minutes we spent together in the car. Tommy started to share that he used to live in Florida and he moved here with his mom but he doesn't have a car. He wants to get a car, but he doesn't have one. Lucas asked him his age, and he is only a few years younger than me. I thought he was much younger. Then as we sat at a stoplight, Tommy, who usually is pretty cheerful, sort of stared off into space and shared that his ex was getting married today. (Lucas didn't quite catch that part of the story). He said he doesn't like it here because all he does is go to work, come home, watch TV, go and work out, and get up the next day and do it again. (He is a bagger at the store) He also started talking about how he doesn't have any friends here. There was saddness in Tommy today. There was an unusual pensiveness to him.
He mentioned he doesn't have a church, but he would like to go to church.
Then Lucas came right out and asked him.
"Tommy, do you believe in Jesus?"
Tommy said, "yes".
Lucas was happy about that.
I began to see the opportunity God had laid out for us today. And I almost missed it because I was in a hurry. Tommy needs connection.
We invited him to come to church with us on Sunday if he wanted to.
He said he would check his schedule at work, but he might work on Sunday.
We are going to be pursuing Tommy and his desire to get back to church and reconnect with people.
After we dropped him off I told Lucas I was proud of him and how much he cares for Tommy. And that we need to always ask ourselves, "What would Jesus say or do if he was riding in the car with us?" This reminded me of a sermon Louie recently had regarding how we "walk" with Christ daily and moment by moment. He is beside us walking. In all things at all times. It takes intentionality to remember that. Why? I have been a Christian for all of my conscious life, but I still need to be reminded to walk as if Christ is walking with me. Right beside me. Really, physically present with me. How does this change what I do or how I treat people? Is there anyone not worthy of my time, effort, or even simply conversation? How would Jesus see Tommy? Then that is how I will see him. I think Jesus loves Tommy. I think Jesus wants Tommy to know him at even a deeper level. I think Jesus put Tommy into our lives so Lucas could be used by God to show Tommy he is loved and we will care for him.
So that's the story of Tommy so far.
Please pray together with us for Tommy--his sweet heart is obviously broken and lonely. Pray we do what God calls us to do.