Sunday, July 09, 2006

An opening

Last week included two 10+ hour days at work to make up for Monday and Tuesday. Being the classic loser, I found myself working one of those shifts on Friday.

However, that's not what made Friday so memorable. I ended up building outside with our in-house agnostic, sometimes atheist, Dave. Dave began working there sometime last November I think. Since then, he has proven to be a reliable worker. He recently broke 4 ribs while dismantling and was out for 3 weeks but he is back now with his trademark sharp and cynical wit.

He has been pretty open sometimes about his beliefs or lack thereof, but never with the intention to create bad blood. The fact remains that the company is owned and run by Christians and he would be the first to admit that he generally appreciates his coworkers and how well the place is managed. He mentioned his wife was impressed when all the owners most of his supervisors visited him in the hospital and even prayed there for him.

So Friday, I had the chance to probe his background a little. I was surprised by what I discovered. He was raised a Southern Baptist, was baptized once at a fairly young age, than again when he was around 17. He explained that he decided to repeat it because he felt he hadn't been cognizant enough of what he was undergoing. Perhaps he feels that he is now even more mindful of his baptism's import and that is why he has renounced it (It's amazing what can happen to our faith when it depends on how we feel). I shouldn't jump ahead of the facts as he stated them though. He left, by his own account, because of rampant hypocrisy in the church (I'm sure you've never heard of that). I pressed him for details and he mentioned racism as a big one, and also, what I interpreted to be a breakdown in proper church discipline, with elders failing to take action against an abusive husband within the church.

We moved through various other topics, not really able to get in-depth and still keep up a good pace on the work process we were manning, but I came away with a more hopeful outlook with regards to Dave. How could I not when I agreed with 90 percent of his frustrations and problems? He seemed to have a relatively full understanding of what he had left. His basic obstacle is cynicism and a heavy dose of self-imposed apathy. I say self-induced because he has a good mind but would rather put on a carefree front to those around him than actually consider some larger questions.

Perhaps you could pray that what I say and when and how I say it will be used to open his eyes. It’s easy to be intimidated by someone who might think he’s heard it all. And while the important thing is the gospel, I did find him to be pretty uninformed regarding reformed thought in particular...

It creates an opening, however small.

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Blogger Ruth said...

Hmmm, he has my prayers. Those who have rejected Christianity often seem to be hopeless cases... but with God, all things are possible. I hope the active and consistant living-out of Christianity around him will throw all his cynicism back at him!

8:20 PM, July 09, 2006  
Blogger Gloria said...

You have my prayers Mark. Other than that I'm not all the great at sharing my faith so I really have no advice. Keep in mind what Ruth said "with God, all things are possible."

8:25 PM, July 10, 2006  
Blogger Mike said...

Similar thoughts.

6:19 PM, July 11, 2006  
Anonymous Patty-Jo said...

I'll be praying too. Just relax and let the Lord work through you. Sometimes people can go to church their whole lives and still not have an understanding of who Jesus is. It can be difficult for them to get beyond the religion and into the relationship.

1:07 AM, July 12, 2006  
Blogger Crystal said...

Sounds like a good experience and I will pray that you can show him a consistant and Godly example in all the dealings that you have with him. Thanks for sharing. Keep us posted if there is anything else that you need prayer for in this situation.

3:03 PM, July 13, 2006  
Blogger Jesse said...

Dave's quite a guy, isn't he?

10:43 PM, July 19, 2006  

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