Yesterday was our last day of training camp, each teams were sent to different churches in El Paso to do various things–two of the teams helped with children’s activities in the churches. We were asked to go to a church and have two of us share our testimonies.
I’m generally a quiet person so I guess my teammates wanted me to share simply because they wanted to see if I could actually talk. I’ve told my testimony and preached before, so I don’t really have a problem doing such things. We arrived at the church and various people greeted us and asked us what we were doing. “We are going to London to minister to the people there for two months.” The pastor came up to us and told us that our testimony sharing time was incorporated into his sermon. When the time came, my fellow teammate and I shared our testimonies. We received communion, and the service was over.
First the pastor’s wife came up to me and told me she had experienced something similar growing up. (My father left my family when I was ten, so that had a huge impact on my testimony.) She told me that she was thirty before she was able to forgive her father. Another lady came up to me and shared another similar experience.
I was leaving to find a bathroom (and regretting my second cup of coffee), when a little boy came up to me.
“Hi. I’m Benjamin.”
“Hi, Benjamin. My name is Annie.”
He proceeded to go right into telling me all about his father, what his father had done, and how his father was in prison and would be released soon.
This boy was probably only seven years old, still at the age where you aren’t really afraid to be open, but still with all that had happened to him, I was surprised he was laying his whole life out there for a stranger.
When you open up and share your story, others will enter into your life and share parts of their stories–parts of themselves. You become connected. Your lives have intersected and intertwined in ways you can’t rewind.
“Will you be back next Sunday?” he asked.
His mother whisked him away, but he’d already found a place into my heart.
I thank God for him.
And I even thank God for the guy who sat next to me on my last flight who shared (maybe too many details of) his life with me on the plane and held my coffee as I tried to Tide To-Go the spots out of my white v-neck. (I never said I was graceful.) The coffee stain is still there.