I just returned from speaking at the National Youth Workers Convention in Memphis. It was the fulfillment of a dream I’ve had for a long time. As much as I enjoyed every moment of this dream, there was one moment that stood out more than any other and it had nothing to do with the convention.
I was rooming with a guy named Kent. I had just met him a few hours earlier. It was about 11:00 p.m. and he had to return his rental car to the airport. I told him I;d tag along because, well, who wants to do that stuff alone.
We arrived at the airport, dropped off the car and had called our Uber to come pick us up. Now, let’s rewind for just minute.
Before we ever decided to go to the airport, we sat in the opening service of the convention and listened to a man named Bob Goff. Bob is unique, funny, quirky, but above all, loving. He shared many stories and challenged us to love those who were not like us, the creepy people.
Bob shared a story from the Bible about a man named Bartimaeus. Bartimaeus was blind. He had been shouting to get the attention of Jesus but those around him tried to quiet him. Jesus heard that man’s call and asked “What do you want?” Bartimaeus said, I want to see” and Jesus answered his request. It was that simple. Now, back to the airport.
As Kent and I were walking to the where the Uber was picking us up a young Arabic lady in her mid 20’s with a young sleeping child cried out “Can you help me!?”. Kent was closest so he engaged with the girl and we listened to her story.
She told us that she had just landed from Dubai and was fleeing an abusive relationship. Her parents were not going to pick her up, they had turned her away. She told us that she had been considering calling the police to take her child and put him child services until she could pull her life together. Then she cried out.
We asked her, “What do you want to do?” She told us she had a friend in Indianapolis. Kent was a pastor in Indianapolis. They talked for a moment and he gave her some info on the church, etc. The Uber driver had arrived but we had no idea how he was going to react when he had to wait for this young lady’s luggage, etc. God already had that covered.
Our driver was Maurice. Best Uber driver ever. Maurice was a minister and, wait for it…. lived in Indianapolis for 20 years. Maurice, waited for luggage, loaded the car, and took us to the bus station. It was about midnight and it took about 30 minutes to get this young lady settled. Maurice willingly and happily participated in this small miracle.
We bought this young lady a bus ticket to Indianapolis and some food. She was very tired, confused, and emotionally broken. She didn’t really understand why we were helping her. In Dubai she had her own business and was very self reliant. She didn’t like being in this position of being helped. I told her that we had all been there and it was her turn, then I told her the story of Bartimaeus.
She didn’t completely understand the story, but she got the gist of it. I told her, you cried out, God heard, and we showed up. The last thing we did was pray for her and she said. “That wasn’t so bad.” She had little to no knowledge about God or Jesus, but at least now, she had the evidence of His great for her.
Wherever you are young lady, I hope you are well and that maybe, one day, you will tell your son the story of night you cried out, God heard, and God answered with a couple of youth workers who were just happy to be a part of God loving you .