One of the many forgotten truths that we re-learned in the reformation was the fact that every member of the church is a minister and therefore has the charge to be faithful where they are today and right now. Today was an opportunity for me to view this first hand.
The context was my sitting at a coffee shop (I know that you who know me are surprised), working on my sermon, sending e-mails, etc. In to the coffee shop walked a business owner of a little boot shop next door. I knew this man because last year I went in to his shop with another Pastor to look at boots. Stop laughing! When we entered the store the owner, named Jaime, received us and asked us what we did for a living and how he might be a blessing to us. Jaime then prayed for us and the ministry and then we, in turn, prayed for him, his business and his ministry to the community.
Well, Jaime was now standing at the coffee bar waiting for three large coffees and next to him stood a young man for which he was buying the coffee. I walked up to Jaime and reintroduced myself and he immediately began to introduce me to the young man, we will call "Andy" who was with him. Jaime then began to talk with Andy about the goodness of God and the fact that though we may have many different "needs" in this world, that these are meant to point to us that the world cannot satisfy our greatest need and that is to receive forgiveness of our sin. Andy was agreeing with him and then the conversation switched to how we can pray for Andy and his family. Turns out that Andy's mother is very sick and he is working to help support her. When then prayed for Andy that he might walk with Christ and that God would be gracious to his family.
Andy stated that he would like to come to church with me the next day, so we made a plan to get him there. When I asked how Jaime and Andy met each other, here is what I found out. Jaime, the business owner, walked out of his store-front business, saw two people working legitimately on the street. Jaime asked if he could please buy them something to eat or drink and then invited Andy to accompany him. It was then that they entered the coffee shop and the above conversation took place.
Two things. Please pray for Jaime, Andy, and Andy's mother.
Second thing - here is a beautiful illustration of a boot-shop business owner being faithful here and now and being obedient, using what God has given him to be a blessing to others. You and I can and should be doing this. Whatever position God has put you in, teacher, police officer, soldier, waste-management specialist, secretary, homemaker, photographer, financial analyst, you and I can and should use every opportunity to do the very best you can for the good of all men that they might see your good works and glorify your Father, who is in Heaven!
In all things...Christ preeminent!