7/8/12 Jeff, about 45
At a carwash today I had to wait while an attendant unplugged their vacuum cleaner system. I chatted with another customer, an African-American man also named Jeff, and decided to give him a million dollar gospel tract to see what would come of it. He was surprised to see it, telling me he already had one that looked a lot like it. He took it out of his wallet and showed me. It was one of my Spanish-versions with my contact information on the back! I was surprised because I don't give that many out - usually only individually as conversation starters - and I don't remember ever giving a Spanish version to an African American! For his part he had no idea where he got it, and no idea what it said so he was happy to get an English version and to hear it explained in person. Jeff is another person who trusts in his good works for salvation, but this "coincidence" gave both of us the sense that this was a God-ordained conversation. I think he took what I had to say more seriously as a result. This is an example of the circumstantial evidence for faith that is important to most Christians but can drive the science-based mind crazy. Of course it proves nothing and sounds silly to outsiders, but when these things happen on a regular basis it helps provide the inner confirmation that encourages believers and seekers alike. There are other, historic and scientific types of evidence for Christianity, but in the end God will always require faith. Why? It's not just because God is a metaphysical being (existing outside of physical laws) that can't be measured by the scientific method, but also because He is a personality that refuses to be put in a box. Immature Christians are often guilty of trying to do just that - especially in regards to the Holy Spirit. We say "If one does 'a' and 'b' then 'c' will result" - but this is a way of putting ourselves in charge and God at our command - much like witchcraft tries to do with its magic spells and potions. No, God is impossible to predict or control, and he does often work in mysterious ways. "He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted." (Job 5:9) Though not a Christian, I think Jeff had the childlike faith to see the evidence of God's hand at work where many who think they are more sophisticated would just see a simple coincidence.