Just when I thought my story at the pool store was over, I made a stop there again last week, and God set things up so that I ended up talking to the owner about boats and deep-water fishing. Not only that, his son and wife were privy to the conversation as I made friends with their new employee – a young man in his teens.
Today was his first day at the store, and I opened the conversation by talking about dweebs. I jokingly asked if he was one. The affable young man did a perfect impersonation of a dweeb, hand gestures and all — “Hey duuude, whaz happening?” We both laughed and hit it off immediately. He said he was the new pool boy and an avid fisherman. When I asked if he’d caught any lobster this year, he said he’d caught plenty. The owner and his son took it all in, and we all began bonding. I almost hated to leave but had other things to do. Nevertheless, I will return and give the young man my evangelism card and maybe invite the owner and his son on a fishing trip. Heck, maybe we’ll all go together. I sure would like to share the Gospel with them all.
With everyone gone back up north for the summer and having exhausted my patience with the guys on the pier, I said goodbye for the time being by gifting them each with a Bible verse printed and set into a lovely blue recessed frame about 3″ by 4.” The verse was from Ezekiel 47:10; “And it shall be that fishermen will stand by it from En Gedi to En Englaim; they will be places for spreading their nets. Their fish will be of the same kinds as the fish of the Great Sea, exceedingly many.”
The day I delivered the five gifts, I had just mounted the pier when hardnosed guys, Jimmy and Nelson, were trudging toward me empty-handed. I said, “Just the two guys I was looking for. I have a gift for each of you.” And I opened my sack of goodies and handed each one the gift. Jimmy read his first and was amazed at the unexpected gift. Nelson then read his, and both thanked me as I walked away, saying, “You guys know how to get there…. Through Christ Jesus!”
I left the other gifts with the rest of the guys, including Bill. All of them were dumbfounded, but they were all very grateful.
My hope in doing this is that reading the selected passage would cause them to delve into the Bible and want to learn more. They may even want to be there where the rivers are teeming with fish since the fishing hasn’t been all that good for the past four years due to the red tide.
Today, I had to go to the Med Clinic because the infected lymph node was acting up again. I was hoping to get another prescription for penicillin, but when the doctor saw me, the first thing he said was, “NO, I won’t give you a prescription unless we can do a complete examination and some blood work on you.
My first thought was that this man was being arrogant because he was a medical doctor. Then he glanced at the book I was carrying with me to read while I cooled my heels in the doctor’s office – something I always try to do when visiting them. (That way, I can make good use of the time wasted rather than staring at the white walls.) The title of the book is Panic Attack by Nicole Saphier, MD.
In any case, from that point on, he began to calm down after seeing that I was an educated man too. I asked a few questions, and that further intrigued him since the medical questions I asked brought him down to my level. From there, we were able to converse man to man with no pretensions.
The first thing I noticed about the man was that he had a two-inch silver cross on a somewhat delicate silver chain draped around his neck. It draped over the top of his shirt as though he wanted you to know that he was religious. I knew this to be a Catholic way to assert one’s religiosity.
After some more small talk, I asked him about the silver cross with the tiny figurine of Christ hanging on it.
“I notice you’re a Christian.”
“Yes, I am.”
I knew better than to ask if he was a Catholic or a new Christian since both are known to flaunt their Christianity in such a way. Nevertheless, he took the ball and ran with it, saying, “Our country is in trouble, and people are seeking deliverance, but you know what? The devil is out in full force to bring our civilization down.”
The doctor had said a mouthful, and I added, “We are in trouble since we kicked God to the curb and relied on politicians to see us through.”
“Politicians are the scourge of society…” he replied.
He left the sentence hanging in the air while his young female nurse came in to do the bloodwork. She and I somehow began talking about Lebanon, where she was born, and was surprised to find out that I knew as much about her country as I did, and it helped to break the ice. We talked as the blood was taken, and I said, “A young lady like yourself doesn’t usually know much about their heritage. Were your parents involved in politics?”
“Yes, my dad was the mayor of our city!”
She was a Catholic who bemoaned the fact that in taking pity on the Palestinians and letting them settle there, they took over and have changed that culture into a Muslim one.
As I was leaving, I stopped by the doctor’s desk to get my “leave papers” and showed him the subtitle of the book, which reads, “Playing politics with science in the fight against Covid-19.” Then I gave him my card.
By the time I left, I had befriended the entire office with asides and quips. I had made their day, and they had made mine.
I am going to buy the good doctor a Bible, knowing that he probably doesn’t own one, even though he appears to be a sincere and decent man.
My blood work returned today, and I stopped in to see the doctor about the results and to deliver the NKJV Bible I had bought to gift him with.
When I handed him the Bible, he was stunned, to say the least. I suspect that no one in his thirty-year career had given him one. Maybe not even a lesser gift for his services. He thanked me profusely and two times more while I was there.
The Bible was a top-of-the-line one bound in leather with gold-edged pages. The doctor asked me if I led a Bible study? I had to answer no, but it got me thinking along those lines. Tonight, I wrote him a letter to explain the Bible’s contents in order of appearance, plus a few antidotes to inspire him. I’m having coffee with a radiologist sometime this week to talk about spiritual things.
Thank God for swollen lymph nodes.