12/17/12 Usabio about 30
I was out at the park in a gospel conversation with a young man named Usabio(?), deep into explaining about his accountability to God and need for forgiveness, when suddenly a Canadian goose flew head-on into the chain-link fence of the tennis court right next to us. We watched as he stood up and kind of collected himself, then saw he was trapped in the tennis court and frantically ran back and forth, trying to escape. I realized we would need to open one of the gates in the fence and sort of herd him toward it, but suddenly two pit bulls came out of nowhere and attacked him. Their owners must not have realized the goose was inside the court and had let their dogs loose to run, so they ran over and wrestled the dogs away from the goose. By this time, I had run inside the court, and was able to chase him out the gate and he flew away to freedom. The interesting thing was, after all this excitement, Usabio still wanted to pick up where we left off in our conversation. He admitted to me that he remembered that I had tried to talk with him about two years ago in that same park, but he hadn’t been ready to have such a conversation at the time. He felt bad about how he had brushed me off, but now he was ready to talk. Even so, today he was like so many relatively decent people, who are positive and responsible and generally believe in God, but haven’t made any effort to learn about the specifics of Christianity. He works as a technician in the emergency room of a major Chicago hospital, and believes he does enough good to make up for the “mistakes” he has made in life. Our conversation today helped him see that these aren’t just “mistakes” but sins against God that he will be accountable for, and that now, in this life, he needs to get into a right relationship with God through faith in Jesus rather than just leaving it up to chance. When I first tried to talk with him two years ago, I had accepted his refusal to talk with grace, trusting God’s timing. Would it have been better for me back then to have insisted on talking, maybe even being rude or obnoxious about it? One can’t say for sure, but I kind of doubt it. I’d rather leave the timing up to God.