13 July, 2013

Unnoticed but Eternal

We met in the main student building on campus.  It's a building that has constant activity: meetings, Starbucks stops, food choices, banks, student services of all types.  As we walked into the building, we were surrounded by Parent Summer Orientation groups.  There were hundreds of parents and students, information booths in every space.  I see worry and fatigue on the faces of many moms, perhaps it's just that I'm remembering those early freshman days!  But my friend and I slip into the building unnoticed.  We are but two among throngs of people.  We're kinda strange looking in that we're a middle-aged woman and a young Asian male....but nonetheless, unnoticed.

As we find a quiet place to have our English tutoring session, my friend exclaims to me that he passed his mathematics comprehensive exam; therefore, he is now able to begin his research project in order to complete his PhD.  Oh my.  Does this dear man realize how very poor my math skills are, were and will forever be??  But instead of voicing this quiet thought in my head I instead congratulate him on such a great accomplishment.  I know my friend is very brilliant and I also know that in normal circumstances we would have absolutely no reason to talk or become friends.  But....there is English and in that subject I'm an expert in pronunciation (albeit, slightly Southern) but still an expert.  Oh, by the way.....you are too!

I removed my files and begin to organize our work for the morning and he says, "Ms. Kathy, before we begin may I ask you a few questions.  Several months ago you gave me some readings and I have now completed them and read further information on the Internet but I have some questions."  He then proceeded to pull out a full page of hand-written verses from the Bible.  Here are the entries he wanted to discuss.

"Love your enemies"
"Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all"
Why does the Bible refer to Jesus as, "Son of MAN"?
And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”
Oh dear!  How do I explain the meaning of these verses?  I'm no Bible scholar, in fact very far from it.  But here I was alone with this student and he was awaiting my response.  After 30 minutes of discussion that involved simply explaining certain word meanings and practicing pronunciation of other words and my simple-minded interpretation of these words from the Bible the conversation slowed down a bit.  As we sat there, this brilliant scholar commented, "Ms. Kathy, I am very curious about the Christian belief as I have never heard of this God, Jesus, before I came to the United States.  After I study further, I still may not decide to believe but I'm very curious to learn."

And I believe God heard those words and He is up for the challenge to teach this student.  And I believe God will continue making my friend "curious".

And I believe that God uses my reluctance everyday.  You see, I didn't want to go to this tutoring session, I grumbled about it.  I walked into this day feeling the day held no meaning as I'm a retired, middle-aged woman, empty nested, non-working and wondering how God might possibly use me and my very limited skills.  I'm not special anymore than anyone else.  I simply showed up even though I really didn't want to be there that day.  But God in His great mercy conducted the meeting in spite of me and His name was lifted high.

He will use us all....unnoticed but eternal.

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