I usually struggle with what to write about the time that I spend at the food pantry every other Thursday evening. First, I talk to so many people that it’s always difficult to choose which conversation(s) to write about.
Also, I’m not always the only person talking to these people. When we first started serving people who came to the food pantry, I was the only one who roamed through the big room where they were waiting, talking with them, listening to them, and praying for them. But, lately, several of my friends have been joining in the service. Last night, for instance, at one point there were five of us. (Of course, we still didn’t talk to all of the 300+ families who came to the food pantry.)
But, there is one conversation from last night that stood out. I was talking with two older ladies and a man who was about my age. While talking to them, I learned that they lived in a small town about 15-20 miles north of us. When I asked how I could pray for them, the ladies said things that I usually hear: health, family, or employment.
But, the man looked at me and asked, “Pray that I understand the word of God better.”
I prayed for them all, then I sat beside the man and talked to him further. He said that he was interested in getting together to read and study Scripture together. He told me that his father sometimes helps him understand Scripture, but he still struggles with it.
I asked him what version he reads. He told me. I’m not going to mention it here, because I don’t want to get inundated with search hits from well-meaning brothers and sisters telling me that that particular English translation is the only one we should be using. Suffice it to say that this version was translated into English 400 years ago (this year).
I suggested a couple of English translations that are more recent, and more easily understood. We really had a great conversation, and he even gave me his telephone number – which is rare. I often give people my number, but they don’t usually give me their number. (I’m sure there is still an issue of trust there.)
I’m looking forward to talking with this man again soon. I’m praying about how to approach this. I know that he does not gather with a group of believers regularly. I will probably ask one or two other mature brothers and one or two other new brothers to begin meeting with us to study Scripture and encourage one another. There are a couple of fast food restaurants situated in the middle of all of us that might make a good meeting place – at least at the beginning.
So, last night was a really good night. And, the conversation above is just the tip of the iceberg.