Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” -Luke 10:38-42
I was invited to a gathering of pastors at a local Denny's. There were about 20 in attendance, someone spoke for 10 minutes, then we broke into groups of 4 or 5 to see how we can pray for each other. When they got to me, I went on a rant about how God is flooring me and how I don't know what we are doing as a church and why haven't we reached out to pray for our server already.
Minutes later, the server, a skinny 20 –something year old Mexican kid who is all disheveled comes to our table—and a guy at our table asks him, "can we pray for you?" To which he responded: "I wanted to ask you guys for prayer, but I thought you were too busy."
The server followed up by dropping to a knee and saying tearfully, I want to give my life to Jesus, but I can't. We asked him why, and he said because he smokes too much pot. We prayed over him something fierce, one pastor was literally hooting and hollering, another spoke in tongues (I think it was a first for me to hear).
I got his cell number so I could follow-up. A few days later, one pastor forwarded me his weekly newsletter, detailing the story of Oswaldo at Dennys. How much do we busy ourselves with ministering to those of faith while missing the lost literally right at our table?
As a follow-up, I followed-up with Oswaldo shortly after our encounter and learned the number he gave me was no longer working. So I went to Denny's to see him in person, but he wasn't there. I left a note that another server said she would pass on to him, but I never heard from him. A year went by, and Oswaldo popped into my mind once in awhile.
Then, one of the guys at the table, the one who'd spoken up, he sent me a text message to report that Oswaldo had called him, but he was in the hospital with his wife and couldn't call back. Excited, I called Oswaldo and he answered, there he was. I quickly learned that his English was much easier to understand in person. It didn't matter, I asked how he was and went on to tell him what I thought about him, relaying the truth of God to him. His only response was something about how I had no idea how powerful this call was to him, how important.
I wish I could say that Oswaldo and I have connected more, we have not. He has never called me back, and I have only prayed for him occasionally. And yet, I trust that seeds have been planted and I pray they will be watered, and I know who to trust for the growth (1 Corinthians 3:6). Even more, given the way this story came to life, I trust that it was a genuine move of the Holy Spirit.