Last week I got the privilege of attending a Brewer’s game. It was a warm night and excitement was in the air. I love going to the game to return to my old hometown. I love the sights of the big city, sounds of the crowd and smells of hot dogs and brats. I always have the hope of bumping into somebody I once knew back home. I was blasting old nostalgic music on the way and Elton John’s "Someone Saved My Life Tonight"came on. Kinda goofy, but in the excitement of the night I prayed that God would do something special for my life tonight since I knew Elton John could not! Maybe I would catch a fly ball, maybe meet up with an old friend, maybe just have a great time with the kids. Silly prayer I thought, but why not?
Our family got free tickets up in the nose bleed section. In fact, to our dismay, we were in the uppermost section, last row, middle. As we made our way up and pushed through I knew that catching a fly ball was out of the question. Then as we excused ourselves past other fans I noticed an old, fairly dirty looking man in the seat next to where I was about to sit. I quickly turned to my husband to have him take my seat. It was too late, he sat on the opposite side with kids in between. “Okay, I guess it is my turn to suck it up,” I thought to myself as we all know there is that less than pleasant person we might have the encounter and must to sit next to. No sooner did I sit down than God began talking to me.
Disclaimer: Yes! I believe God still speaks, we just need to listen.
Isaiah 30:21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
It wasn’t a loud voice, but a whisper in my soul, yet very audible. “Be kind to the man,” is what God seemed to be saying to me. Now there were two things wrong with God asking me that. First, the old man was alone and things were coming to my head like maybe he is a serial killer, maybe he is a kidnapper and came to stake out his prey. “Be kind,” God told me. Secondly, I always wanted to be outgoing and can be when all my closest friends are around. Not so much in a situation like this. In fact my best friend and I make a great pair, I let her walk in front of me and do all the talking and I do the work. It is hard for me to just stir up conversation with a stranger. Then my son whispered that he wanted a soda. Whew, a chance to escape! But it kept nagging at me, the lonely old man. I bought sodas for the family and an extra one for him. “What is that for?” asked my son. “The old man,” I told him. “You just don’t do that mom! No, don’t” he yelled out of embarrassment. “God laid it on my heart, I gotta.” And with that we silently walked back to our seats. I offered the man the soda and struck up some conversation about baseball, and some local news, small talk. Once my husband even jokingly texted me from four seats down “stop flirting with the old man!” I found he came all the way from Greenbay by himself I think. Now I wish I was brave enough to ask more questions, maybe tell him I would pray for him, but I wasn’t. During the 7th inning he left and I called my friend (the talker) to tell her what was happening. She told me to tell him about our ministry, talk about God! Ugh! I didn’t know if I could do it, just small conversation was hard enough. He never came back. Was it enough? Did I do what God wanted? Yes, I met a man, a stranger I can pray for, that I can share this simple story about. Afterward my family teased me about how the man probably came to the game to be by himself and I just bugged him the entire time! Maybe they are right but at least I obeyed God! This man is in my prayers and I ask that the old man from the Brewer’s game be in your prayers too. I don’t know his story, but it doesn’t matter. We need to be kind to strangers because we may just be entertaining angels. Maybe he was just a lonely old man, maybe he did just wanted to be left alone. It doesn’t matter; we always need to listen to God’s voice. My prayer was answered; God did something special for my life that night. If I did get another chance to talk to that man what would I say? I was thinking about it as I drove home this morning. Then a song came on the radio called “The Words I’d Say” by the Sidewalk Prophets . God spoke to me again, this time through song:
If we were face to face,
I'd tell you just what you mean to me,
I'd tell you these simple truths,
Be strong in the Lord and,
Never give up hope,
You're going to do great things,
I already know,
God's got His hand on you so,
Don't live life in fear,
Forgive and forget,
But don't forget why you're here,
Take your time and pray,
These are the words I would say
It is my prayer for you today that you listen to God’s voice because he still speaks, we just need to listen; and for the old man at the Brewer’s game.