Charlie Fraga

James 4:13-15 

... You who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow… Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”  

It all began as an annoying interruption.  We had just relocated our offices to a storefront building in a space designed according to our precise specs. All was going splendidly until something very unexpected happened: Russel paid a visit to our nice, spiffy offices.  

He entered the building with a lot of banging, clanging and other disturbing noise. He was in a wheelchair, bent over and “driving” mostly with his legs and feet. Hanging from the chair were sacks full of used cans and bottles, most of which still contained residual beer or soft drink, causing him to reek of alcohol.  

My first reaction, I’m sad to say, was, “Get this guy out of here! He’s messing up our new offices! This is a professional business!” Thankfully, one of my coworkers saw the situation differently and approached Russel. He could speak only with great difficulty and drooled while doing so. He was hoping we had some used bottles or cans. He used the money from the recycling refunds to buy food and care for his cats. He was living on disability after a serious auto accident had left him permanently disabled.  

Over the years we got to know Russel well: where he lived, what kind of birthday cake he liked, how many cats he needed to feed… his life story. Russel became our friend. Many times we prayed with him for various things. God visited us in him.  

Russel died three years ago at the age of seventy. I miss him. I miss the belabored conversation, the stench of beer, even the need to clean the entryway after his departures.  

Thank you, Lord, for changing my heart and for interrupting my business plans that day.  

TAKE THE CHALLENGE: How is the Lord trying to interrupt you?