Nick was quite a character. Back when I was in the Navy, Nick shared the other side of a wall with me. My bed was up against one side in my room and his was up against the opposite side in his room. Even before I knew his name or had met Nick, he made an indelible impression on me. You see, Nick liked to wake up every morning to an 85-decibel rendition of Star Wars Imperial March courtesy of a very good stereo with speakers capable of thunderclaps of volume. While I can’t say that Nick and I ever became close buddies, I can say that I remember his name all these years later even though I can’t remember the names of countless actual roommates from those days. You might be thinking that his wake-up call is the reason for never forgetting him, but you’d be wrong.
I remember Nick because he was a Christian in all the right ways. Nick noticed people and found attractive ways to share Christ with them. I was such a person. Now, I was raised in the church but in those days, I was not living in accordance with the teachings of Christ, so Nick didn’t need to tell me about Jesus, the Bible, or any of the other elements of the faith. No, Nick had a harder job to do; he needed to reengage my attention and interest toward Christ. That was not an easy task at all, especially since I was actively avoiding God’s call on my life to become a pastor. I wanted to do what I wanted and employ the “if I don’t think about God then He won’t bother me” kind of tactic that is denial taken to the point of absurdity. But God wasn’t playing my game and Nick was the man God used to redirect my attention.
Nick never seemed to have an agenda, he just showed up and shared his enthusiasm which somehow was focused on Christ but was never pushy or haughty. Nick bought a couple of cassette tapes of what was then contemporary Christian music and gave them to me. All he said was, “I really enjoy these and so I got you these albums. Let me know what you think.” That was it.
Now, I didn’t immediately return to living a Christian life, but I did play those songs over and over again. And when, a few years later I seriously rededicated my life to Christ, I was still listening to them. In fact, the reason I remember Nick is because he gave me those tapes. I listen to them to this very day and those artists continue to be my all-time favorites. I don’t know if Nick even remembers me these days, but I remember him because he invested in my life in a winsome manner and let God use him to plant seeds that might seem tiny to most, but that took root and helped break through the stony obstinance of my hard head and heart.
Acts of love in the name of Christ are powerful even if they are small. You never know what God will do with your act of love and kindness in Jesus’ name. God acts in creative and imaginative ways because each one of us is precious to Him. Is God trying to get your attention?
Nick and I were probably only in contact for two months, but a small gift made a huge difference for me. I pray you find some way to do an impactful kindness in Jesus’ name this week.
God bless you!
Contact Pastor Lamb at firstname.lastname@example.org.