Would You Talk To A Stranger?


As my brother Roger’s wife, daughters, and grandchildren tumbled out of the hospital elevator, an older couple watched the small kids dash by and head into the chapel.

The man asked Sheena, “Do they know what that room is?”

“Yes, sir, they do.”

He said, “Do they know what it’s for?”

“Yes, sir, they do.”

Sheena and Roger are at the far end of the table giving their order during a family gathering at the Roadhouse Restaurant in Bastrop, Texas.

Sheena explained to the couple how her husband, the children’s grandfather, had gone through surgery for lung cancer and how they went into pray for Granddaddy before and after each visit.

The man said, “God told me to come here and bless the children.”

Wow!

Weird!

Wonderful!

In a conversation the next morning, Sheena told me how the man and his wife prayed for Roger and his family. The prayers were specific, touching on unspoken needs. The words were kind and encouraging and amazing.

And true to their word, the couple blessed the children … and Sheena … and Roger … and me … and many more.

What motivates a man and his wife to leave their home, drive across town, and wait to meet total strangers? What moves them to pray tender, specific, soul-searching prayers for a worried wife and bless her grandchildren thus, in essence, blessing her?

I came away from our conversation with these three thoughts.

The man spends time in God’s presence. No one can respond to a stranger’s needs like he did without getting close to the heart of God. His life mirrored God’s character and carried a message of God’s love to a hurting and hopeful family. The ability to do that happens through prayer and the study of Scripture.

I want to meet the man who spends time in God’s presence. Not the particular man who met my brother’s family as they stepped out of the hospital elevator. That man went to see Sheena, not me, and to speak God’s message into her life, not mine.

But I do want someone like him to influence my life for God. I want men and women like him to speak into my life, to challenge me to be conformed to the image of Christ, to live faithfully before God and man.

I want to be the man who spends time in God’s presence.  I want to “not grow weary in doing good,” to pray “without ceasing,” and to love God “with all [my] heart and soul and strength.”

Hearing Sheena’s story made me aware of God speaking through people who spend time with Him. Those people advance God’s kingdom in our world. They speak of His righteousness, holiness, and glory. They speak comfort to the hurting and encouragement to the weary. They speak light into a dark world. They speak words of love, joy, peace and hope.

Oh, Lord, let me be such a one as this man.

I’m curious. What message would you bring to others? What message would you like to hear?

Top 3 posts in the last 7 days:

“Asking a Dumb Question Is Better Than No Question At All”

“The Royalty Check Is In the Mail … or Not!”

“The Two Things That Happen When We Talk”

You can find my novel, Dark Eyes, Deep Eyes, at:

WestBow Press

Amazon.com

Barnes & Noble

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About tnealtarver

I've traveled and spoken around the world but always love to come home. There I eat exceptional meals, drink coffee to my heart's content, and get loved like nowhere else on earth. I believe a community centered in Christ should be all that and so much more.
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4 Responses to Would You Talk To A Stranger?

  1. Very inspiring post. Like you, I want to be the type of person who is close to God in a way that allows me to not only hear His heart but to act on what I hear. You got at a point I was trying to get at in my “What’s Your Status?” post on Monday, but your approach is more effective. Great story!

  2. You know, Ive been on both sides of that story. Both sides are wonderful. It always surprises me when I act on something I feel God saying and it turns out to actually be Him. It shouldn’t surprise me, He’s done it so many times, yet my own lack of confidence astounds me sometimes. Whenever I act out, pray for someone who God leads me to, give someone a word I feel is from God, I see Him touch people in ways I would not have expected. To see how impacted strangers are when someone just cares, just loves them… it’s amazing.

    • tnealtarver says:

      I’ve been mostly on the side of the hearer of God’s message rather than the speaker, in the sense of speaking a specific message to a particular person unknown to me prior to the encounter. On the other hand, we all have the opportunity to express God’s character and love to those around us, both friend and stranger.

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