QUICK TO LISTEN, SLOW TO SPEAK
As Tod lived so close to Mascot airport, he made the short walk across the park to the terminal to meet with his friend that previously he had only chatted
with over the internet.
Taking a seat inside the busy foyer, he rose to the sound of his mate calling out to him.
“Tard!” he called, obviously recognizing the young man from the photos.
Tod strode forth to shake hands with the American with the hugest of grins.
“Well come outside. We don’t have far to go and I’ll show you around. Tomorrow, we can go to my church and I’ll introduce you to some people.”
“Well I would, but I hope you don’t mind if I get something to eat first. It’s just that I can never eat airline food.”
“I’ll get it, what do you want?”
“I could do with some McDarnalds, but I don’t suppose you have those over here.”
Todd grinned broadly.
“Yeah mate, we even have electric lights nowadays. I’ll fix you up.” He said and pushed his way through the throngs.
Alone now, ‘Charlie’ sat on an empty lounge and spread his luggage close by on the floor, staring at the many faces that wafted past him and thanked God that he had been chosen to tell them of the gospel here in this simple country.
‘Please, Lord’ he prayed. ‘Send me someone to tell of your great love for them.’
And no sooner had he finished speaking when a small, rounded man with flowing brown beard sat down beside him with a pipe in hand.
“Hello, I’m Chuck.” He said to the man with extended hand.
The man at first laughed, then shook it.
“What’s funny?” he asked, calming his voice so as not to risk losing him.
“It’s just that over here, Chuck’s not a name, its something you do in a bucket…Dave anyway.” He said extending his own. “So what do you do for work’ then?”
“I’m in ministry. You probably don’t know what that is. You see I’m a Christian.”
“Are you?” said Dave, overly enthralled.
“Yeah. You see, I tell people about the gospel. Do you know Jesus?”
“Hmm.” Nodded the man, knowingly, taking a draw on his pipe.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to sound condescending. Of course you have heard of Him. It’s just that do you know Him as your personal savior?”
Dave looked serious, taking a few more puffs hurriedly and was about to speak when the eager young man interjected.
“Do you know that all men are sinners and that we are in need of salvation?”
“Well tell me about it.” Said the man in mock seriousness as Chuck saw beyond his shoulder that Tod was making his way back with the food he had asked for.
“Well I have to go and pick up my wife.” Said the bearded man, tapping his pipe against the inside of the bin.
“Look.” Said the American hurriedly. “Here’s my cell number. I’d like to speak with you more on the subject…if you’d like to.”
“I’d like to very much.” He said and put the piece of paper inside his wallet as Tod approached.
Giving Tod a wink, he peeled away to search for his wife.
“Hey Tod.” He began agog.
“You know that guy I was just talking to?”
“Who, Dave? Yeah. He’s our pastor; you’ll be seeing him tomorrow.”
“Pastor? I prayed for someone to share the love of Christ with.”
Tod erupted into fits of laughter and when his mirth at last receded, he addressed his new mate.
“Well he’s the right bloke to do that with. I’ve never known or heard of a man as smart with a bible as he is…You didn’t try to witness to him, did you?”
Chuck gave no answer but continued to stare through Tod, refusing to make any sheepish reply as his ego would not allow it.
“He’s written books, invited to speak around the world and one of his books is even in Oxford library of all places. Since the beginning of this year he’s joined the ranks of an international biblical think tank that meet in London once a year.
You teaching him the gospel is like me giving Bill Gates financial advice.”
Tod finished snapping open a can of coke.
Chuck lowered his head into his hands as he had never felt so embarrassed. Perhaps he wouldn’t be at Tod’s church tomorrow, but definitely the next week.
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