On Sunday, I whizzed up the motorway for a last-minute-organised family lunch and later, in a bid to walk off the roast potatoes, Dad and I went for a walk.
As we wandered around the edge of the fields, having a deep and meaningful chat, the sun was setting in the distance looking like a golden, gooey, delicious ball of light.
As we stopped for a minute and watched the orangey, syrupy colours spread over the horizon, a man came out of a nearby house and joined us. ‘Beautiful, isn’t it?’ He said.
We got into chit chat. Dad asked him if he’d lived around there long. Turns out he was 86, had lived on the same street for 40 years and in his younger days, had been a rivet fixer on the Liverpool shipyards. He’d climb into huge ship bays and make sure every nut and bolt was watertight – he’d lived through the war, rations, bombings and many difficult times.
We got back onto the subject of the sunset and dad (a.k.a super evangelist) remarked that it was part of God’s beautiful creation. The man agreed and I saw Dad’s hand reach into the pocket….wait for it…out came an ever-ready tract, one called ‘Do you believe in chance?’ Dad explained what it was, the chap thanked him and we moved on.
That’s what I love about my Pa. Sharing his faith is like breathing to him; he never misses an opportunity. His pockets always have a ready-supply of little tracts, ready for any moment.
It’s not pious or show offy, it’s just who my dad is. He’s had a life changing experience, so why wouldn’t he share it???
I said to him later, ‘that’s what I love about you…you’re always ready’. He replied, ‘You never know when a person might be having their last day on earth….I’d hate for them to not know.’
I thought about it later, how seemingly insignificant details like me insisting that we go for a walk, led to us stopping for a minute to look at a sunset….just as a man walked out of his garden…led to dad talking to him about Jesus.
Had we stopped further down the path, this chap wouldn’t have seen us or talked to us. If we’d left the house 20 minutes later, the sun might have set and we wouldn’t have stopped….and so on.
I like the idea that every small (seemingly unimportant) action could lead to a significant experience or encounter, that could change a person’s life….