Wednesday, November 22, 2006

$100 from a Stranger

Earlier today George and I boarded a train from New York City to Norwalk, Connecticut. There weren't many seats available--it's Thanksgiving here in the States--but I spotted one by a well-to-do couple in their early 40's. "Mind if I sit here?" I asked. "Not if you don't mind dogs," the man said, half-jokingly. And then I realized that his wife had two little white dogs on her lap. "Not at all," I said. "I love dogs."

Thus began my conversation with this man, a hedge-fund manager, and his lady-friend (to whom, it turned out, he wasn't married). We talked about dogs big and small, Thanksgiving, social issues like AIDS and the untouchables of India, foreign policy, micro loans, Christianity, my job as George's assistant, and a whole lot more.

Suddenly, my new friend pulled out a $100 bill, handed it to me and said, "give this to your boss." I thanked him and said, "I'll do that."

A few minutes later, I went up to George and told him about the gift. "No one's ever given me money on a train like that before," George said, as he pulled out a copy of his three-in-one book. "Give that to him," he said, handing me the book and one of his business cards to serve as a bookmark.

I walked back to my seat and handed the book to my new friend. "My boss asked me to give this to you. He wrote it. I need to warn you, though; it's pretty hardcore." "What do you mean," the girl asked. "Well, it's about the authenticity we've been talking about," I said. "It's about spiritual reality, and how everything we do comes out of that."

They were a little surprised, and also truly grateful. "Thank you," the man said, taking the book. "I'm Brandt, by the way." "And I'm Lauren," the girl said. "I'm Nigel," I said. "Hm, I wish I had a business card to give you," I said, "but I'm out." "Well, here," Brandt said, volunteering one of his.

We had been together on this train for about an hour, but it was at that very moment that George flagged me down from his seat further up, indicating it was time to get off. This was our stop. I collected my things and said goodbye to Brandt and Lauren. "God bless," I said as I walked away, not really sure what else to say. "You too," Brandt returned, sincerely.

So, this is what happened on the train-ride in to our destination today. Now, several hours later, it is dark out, and we're on the train back. As I sit here, I can't help but wonder if Brandt will pick up George's book and maybe read some of it. I can't help but what wonder what will become of Brandt, especially now that George has decided to add him to his for-life prayer list. And, knowing that George is involved with funding evangelistic, literature, and social-action projects around the world, and recognizing that our God is a God of mystery, I can't help but wonder what He will do with that $100.
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ar TORONTO, CANADA | 2018+

MAY

22 Tue (1) 3pm mtg (JC), (2) 7:15pm patch prayer mtg
23-25 Wed-Fri holiday
26-30 (Advance voting)
28 Mon (1) 8:30am VT prayer mtg, (2) 7:30pm dinner (JVE)
29 Tue (1) 2:30pm coffee (BD), (2) 7:15pm patch prayer mtg
30 Wed (1) 9:30am VT Bible study, (2) 10:30am mtg (MF), (3) 11am leadership mtg (MF,SN,VS,DN)
31 Thu 7:45am b'fast (DM)

JUNE
2 Sat am & aft speaking at Guelph Men's Conf
7 Thu (Election day)
8 Fri MI online board mtg
9 Sat ~J's bday
23 Prayer Journey
26-28 speaking at Amplify Conference - Chicago
28 Thu leaving to Arkansas
28 - Jun 7 Fri-Sat holiday

JULY
... May 28-7 Fri-Sat holiday - Arkansas
20-22 Fri-Sun SL wknd w/ ML/J/A/B,Som/S,~J/C
30 - Aug 3 Mon Mon-Fri Kids Kapers camp

AUGUST
4 Sat poss. J/D wedding
10-12 Fri-Sun ~J's family wknd
17-19 Fri-Sun church-plant camping trip - Killbear
24-25 Fri-Sat writing training wknd - Hamilton
28 Tue 10am CCWM board mtg

SEPTEMBER
2-3 Sun-Mon new-staff retreat - Faith Mission
3-7 Tue-Fri VT retreat - Faith Mission
21 Fri MI in-person board mtg

OCTOBER
1-7 Mon-Sun Dollar-a-Day

NOVEMBER
Poss. time in Afr., India, Aus.
24 MI online board mtg

DECEMBER
29: KH/S wedding)

2019 on
Feb 15-18: MIer conference
Feb 16: Sat - 10-yr anniv
Feb 18-22: VT retreat
Feb 22-30: time off
Apr 1-3: poss. First Chair retreat
May 10, 10am: CCWM board mtg
Jun 25-29: poss. marketplace conf. - Manila
Dec: likely Indonesia, Australia