I was a relatively new recommitted Christian, wrought with all the burdens and struggles and desires and yearning to be the 'best' Christian this world had ever known. You know, to prove that God's love and gift to me was properly 'acknowledged' and passed on to the next guy.
Then I met one of God's very own.
I met him at a small group bible study brought together by the campaign our church was having, studying Joel Osteen's book about finding God's favor. He wasn't tall, just an average guy. And then he spoke. It wasn't with an authorative voice, booming with the echo of the Holy Spirit's power and it wasn't a voice that would be lost in the multitude of conversations that tend to happen when friends gather. It was a gentle, eager voice--one much like I envision Christ had when He spoke to the Twelve, or the five thousand. It spoke of hope and love with authority and conviction.
I spoke to him personally after that first group meeting and we became friends. Over the next few weeks, we spoke of life, purpose, and God's guiding hand. The small group was over and we waved goodbye.
I met one of God's own again, at the Men's breakfasts that our church used to give, once a month. Still the same guy, unassuming, but I guess God had improved my eyesight, because I could see an intensity in his movement, as if there were souls to save and people to care for, from which this was a very important, but none the less, short stop on the road to them. We talked, caught up on the brief interlude that our paths hadn't crossed and enjoyed the fellowship. I met his father, and knew on that day, God had truly blessed me. I had met two of His own. We would see each other off and on throughout the next year and a half, discussing how God was working in our lives and directions to take. We were always waving goodbye.
The next time I met one of God's own, we talked about the Softball team. He was happy to come and lend his talent and time, fellowshipping and enjoying a sport he had fun playing. We discussed his 'part-time' job as a Chaplain and spoke of God's leading of me into that ministry. We laughed, fellowshipped, and enjoyed life......for a brief time.
I met one of God's own lying in a hospital bed, family gathered and praying over him. There would be no words to exchange, no promises to try and schedule a coffee break. And, although I had grown from a baby wanting only milk to an adolescent eating hard food, it is on that day that I, too, became one of God's own. Giving my life over to His purpose, His will, and His destiny for me.
Because I had the opportunity, several years ago, to meet one of God's own. And when I lie upon that bed, be it in a hospital room or in my own, I hope and pray that God might shine through the reflections of others about my life.
And I would like to hear when I stand before that heavenly throne, "Son, I would like you to meet your brother Mark, my faithful and priceless servant."
In peace, brother, you work is done. It is to other's to pick up the tassles that you've left and carry the load for a time. Each of us to set in stone your example of what it means to be one of God's own.........
I could tell you of one of God's own with whom I enjoyed a time; of his ministries, of the lives he touched and the ones he saved for eternity. I could, but that would be wrong, because I didn't know of them until others who had seen this one had come together and talked. He did his work in silence, with vigor and patience. He didn't look for acolades. He did what God told him and left it at that. I think that is the tribute I should leave him.