Passing ByI am a pastor, and am also continuing my studies in Ministry Theology. My wife and I were shopping at Wal-Mart, and as we turned the corner to one isle, an elderly man with a "glow and a smile" was approaching us, and his eyes seemed to lock onto mine. As he passed, I said, "Hello," but he said not a word, just smiled and went past. I thought, "Interesting." But then I looked up and in just a few seconds, here was this same man approaching us again! There was no way that he could have made it down one isle and back up that fast! No way! He approached me, eyes fixed upon mine again, still smiling. He passed again, and again I said, "Hello." He still spoke not a word, but just passed me by again and stared at me, with this smile. I thought, "Wow!"
A few minutes later my wife and I were in another isle and I heard a noise behind me. I thought someone needed to get past me, and turned to see...and it was this elderly man again! He made some off-hand comment about the toilet bowl brushes, then looked straight into my eyes and asked, "So, what is it you do?" I told him that I was a circulation manager for a magazine (which paid the bills), and then told him that I was in college. "College," he said. "What's your degree in?" I told him, "Ministry Theology." He replied, "Ministry! Well, you know you have to be called for that?" I told him that I did know that, to which he replied, "But it will benefit you too." I wasn't sure of his meaning, and I think he knew that, so he continued, "Because you won't be happy if you do anything else."
With that he gave me a reassuring look (and that peaceful smile!), wished me all of the best, and retreated down another isle. I immediately went around the isle to look for him, and continued to look for him, but just that quickly, he was gone.
Now God knew just what I needed as a struggling theology student! That encounter has helped me over many rough spots in the road. Praise God!