I was minding my business, working on the BIG Bible proofreading project. I have put everything on hold to accomplish this. I have things in every room that have to be done—pictures to hang and stuff to put away. But this Bible is priority; 1551 pages!
The doorbell rings and someone knocks insistently. It takes me a while to get on my feet and reach the door. I look through the peek-hole and see a young man. The question in my mind is always if it’s safe to open the door. I figure someone must be very anxious to see my face because the knocking is insistent.
I open the door. The young man, twenty-something, asks if he can mow my lawn for five dollars. Now that is a bargain! I usually keep at least twenty dollars in cash, but this time I was down to my lowest, so I had to check if I had five dollars. Yes, I even had six!
It was hot outside. I opened the garage and took out the mower, figuring that the friend that helps me with this chore would be happy to have someone else do the job. I fill a glass with ice and water, for the young man, because no one should be out in the heat without water.
I sit down to continue with my job and I hear some knocks on the door. The young man has some questions. I answer! I sit down again and start on the job. Once more I hear knocks on the door. I get up and wobble to the door. Another question! I answer! I go back to my job—same scenario again. By that time I was feeling like a yo-yo! Up and down! Up and down!
Now this young man was sweating like crazy. He had a shirt with long sleeves and asked if I would mind if he cut them off. No one needs to cut off any shirt sleeves when I have T-shirts to share. So I bring him an old one from my time in Florida. That is old!!! I left Florida in 1995!
The young man has heard me talk on the phone in Swedish and he has questions about that. I tell him I’m a former missionary. His interest increases. I offer to make a sandwich for him when he’s done. The knocking on the door is back and forth so I finally decide to wait with the job.
To make a long story a little shorter—the last knock was not good news. The string for start-up of the mower broke, so only half of the job got done. I felt sorry for him; he was embarrassed. And now I had half a lawn unmoved (luckily the back yard) and a mower to get fixed! One problem I really didn’t need. But strings don’t last forever. We know that! (This morning my mower-friends came and picked it up to take it to a place where they can fix it.)
You’re probably wondering what is so interesting about all this. Let me get to Part 2.
The mowing for five dollars was a camouflage. I now have a name for this young man, so I’ll use it: Jim. This Jim is a college student majoring in sociology. He was walking around in the neighborhood, offering his five dollar services for lawn-moving to see people’s reaction and then write a paper on it. Most of the time he got negative answers. I can’t believe people wouldn’t like their lawn mowed for only five dollars!
I’m getting to the interesting part. How we got into speaking about web-sites I don’t remember, but probably because Jim gave me his parent’s business web-site that he has set up. We got to talking about my web ministry and the need I have of help to set up my main Spanish web-site. He offered to help me!
Part 3. My constant prayer is to find someone that will help me set up my web-site in a functional way, so people can easily access the teaching materials I publish. That is why this is so interesting to me. On a regular Wednesday morning, when I’m not suspecting anything unusual, God sends me a young man to mow my lawn (and break the mower!) and offer to help answer my prayers.
I love these kinds of surprises! Like the time I went to a regular church service, not figuring something very spectacular would happen. But there was a guest speaker, and he invited people to have prayer for physical needs.
I suffered with constant back pain. I didn’t know it, but my problem was that one leg was slightly shorter than the other. Looking back I can see how that was the case. I was always shifting position from one foot to another. He stretched out my legs, showed me the difference, prayed—and my leg grew the needed amount. Never again have I suffered that kind of pain!
I took it as a birthday present from God. This happened the evening before my 33rd birthday!
What kind of surprise may God have for you? Just go on with your business, serving him faithfully day by day, and when you least expect it, someone will knock on your door.
By the way, I didn’t pay the five dollars. Jim wasn’t looking for money; he was looking for a story. I told him to write something good about me. Hopefully, in a not too far future there will be a Part 4 to this story.
Just like King David of old I have tasted over and over again God’s goodness. I invite you to have the same experience!
“Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man [and woman] who takes refuge in him.”