Last night we attended a revival service at a “sister church” in our community. A dear friend of ours was the featured evangelist. We have been friends with him and his wife for many years. They now live away so we are always glad for the opportunity to catch up with him and, of course, hear him preach the Word.
Last night I thought back across the years and through the various twists and turns of our friendship. When we first met him, he was preaching then too, a layman who was alternately filling in the pulpit after the pastor of his church here in town had resigned. We officially met when he and the other pulpit supply preacher (and future friend) came to our home as part of church visitation.
We were newcomers in town, having attended their church for the first time that previous Sunday. We were good Baptists and knew that we would no doubt be receiving a visit. I had checked the bulletin for the day and time so I would be ready: house clean, supper put away, dishes washed, children neatly dressed. Tuesdays at 6, it read, so Tuesday I intended to be ready and waiting.
Well, evidently they didn’t read the bulletin since they came not Tuesday but Monday. We were not ready. Our babies were in the tub, I had on no makeup, the house was a mess. It didn’t matter. The two men stayed for two hours, probably more.
We joined their church and it became our church. We became dear friends–hanging out, trading childcare, talking on the phone for hours, lots of laughter and fun kind of friends.
Our friend and his family moved away after a few years. A few years after that they moved back and he came on staff at our church; we resumed our friendship and enjoyed the added benefit of seeing our sons become best of buddies. A few years after that he moved away again to the pastoral position he now holds.
We stayed at that same church, serving, worshipping, seeking the Lord, right up until last July. Some of you, perhaps most of you, know the rest of the story. All the events of last summer came from our commitment to that family of believers which in turn began with two guys paying us a visit on a Monday night. Would we have still joined that church if they had not come to our house? I don’t know. But I do know this: they did. We did. And here we are. Grateful for it all. Yes, grateful. Yes, for it all.
So I was thinking last night how we owe much of where we are today to that Monday night visit. Who could have known all the Lord had for us, for them? Two kids later for us, three kids later for them, we joked last night. But beyond that, I can see the Lord’s purposes and plans for us that began with something as seemingly inconsequential as our future friend sitting on our sofa (for hours!) talking to us of the things of the Lord.