Well I know the answer to that would actually be yes – cause the episode I am talking about happened over at my friend’s house – so I know they can say yeah. I just think it is interesting when I have strange lil events like this to take place. At first they make me go “what the heck was that all about” and then usually just shrug and move on – but I am trying to be more reflective (yeah yeah big shocker) and figure out if God may have some reason behind it or a lesson to teach me. (sort of like the thoughts shared by my friend Wayne a few days ago on his blog – check it)
So here’s the deal – I am at the Martin’s house (Craig, Erin, Avery, & Connelly – who thinks I am the greatest ha ha) back in Raleigh this past weekend. I was just hanging out before flying back to Atlanta on Tuesday after visiting family and friends for Christmas and New Year’s – it was definitely GOOD TIMES!
It’s about 5:30 or so on Monday evening and there is a ring of the doorbell and someone at the front door. It was a nice middle-age to older gentleman. Craig wasn’t home from work yet and Erin went to answer the door. The guy was kind and friendly but was definitely there with an agenda. He asked a lil about who she was and if I was her husband (ha ha SHE COULD ONLY HOPE ha ha) – after some introductions – during which I thought he said his name wast “Mr. Willie Pete” or something like that – I know it began with “Mr. Willie — something”. Anyway he was there from some company who was going to be in the area the next day doing quotes on home improvements. They were going door to door to see if anyone wanted to sign up to have them stop by.
Normally this is the kind of thing that people would begin closing the door as quickly as possible, but on this occasion Erin kindly stood and listened to the pitch. Of course there was NO OBLIGATION and NOTHING TO BUY – and actually one of the items was a quote on a sunroom, which Craig & Erin have often talked about adding to the back of the house. This prospect intrigued Erin and so they began a discussion. She felt like it was cool if the people came back the next evening, this time when Craig could be home, and then check out the space, take some measurements and give a quote. Sounds like a pretty harmless deal right?
Well about that time Craig pulled up as he got home from work, he came up to the front and met “Mr. Willie – so-and-so” and was brought up to speed. Again let me say that this guy who was representing the company was a great guy and really nice and you really didn’t mind standing there talking with him. So Craig agreed that it wouldn’t be a problem and they worked out the details. Here is where it gets a lil interesting.
Somehow in the course of the discussion the salesman asked who I was and the connection we all had. Erin replied that we used to attend the same church, and that set the man off like a bottle rocket on the 4th of July. He was SO EXCITED to hear we were fellow believers. He started sharing about who he was and that he was a pastor at a church there in Raleigh. He then found out that I was a “pastor” or minister or whatever you want to call me (and I know some would call me something much different ha ha) and wanted me to come over to the door and talk as well.
At this point my man broke into all sorts of a dissertation on the fact that since we were fellow believers and ultimately brothers and sisters in Christ, that we all shared the same spirit – or Spirit you might say. This we all agreed upon. And he continued about how since this was the case, in some aspects even though we were just now meeting for the first time, we actually knew one another on a deeper level, since we are all part of the same family. He also made some remarks about how even though our skin tone was different, it didn’t matter we were still the same. Again more things that we all definitely agreed about. He talked about how even though we just met and may never meet again that we would spend all eternity together. Once again – something I am in FULL AGREEMENT and can TOTALLY get behind. He was excited he was going into – as he called it – “preacher mode” ha ha ha. He was a truly funny individual, but was genuine and authentic, he definitely loved the Lord. He talked about being unashamed and sharing who he really was in Jesus, it was pretty cool.
He kept saying “well let me go – I need to go on and let ya’ll get back to what you were doing” but then he would break into another round of insights. He just kept harping on the fact that our connection – our being “coheirs or brothers and sisters” in Christ was such a neat thing, and even though we didn’t really know one another we actually did deeply know one another. This whole line of thought, although not new to me – was a good reminder.
He then said something that I really wish we could all follow more closely. He said something to the affect that if we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, part of the same family or body, and we all share in the same spirit – why in the WORLD can we not do a better job of getting along down here on earth. How in the world do we ever plan to get along and spend eternity TOGETHER when we are not doing so here on earth. And I must say I truly agree.
Just stop sometime and listen to the things we say about one another (and I mean people in the family of Christ – not those outside the church or faith or body, however you want to describe it). No wonder so many want to have NOTHING to do with us, or more sadly than that Our Father, Our Creator, Our Maker, Our Savior, Our LORD! What a call and reminder to be more careful how we treat one another, and how we think about those we haven’t met but are fellow believers, that might not be EXACTLY like us or even very close, but as my new friend so stated we are still in the same Spirit and even though we might not KNOW one another we still KNOW one another.
Well then Mr. Willie whatever said something about the church he pastors with being in Raleigh but soon moving to a new location in Holly Springs (the area where Craig and Erin live) and how they could really use our prayers. So he grabbed my hand and the 4 of us joined hands and he asked me to pray for he and his congregation and for Craig and Erin and the lives they lead there in their community and for the work I was doing in the Atlanta area. Before I began to pray I asked him, what did you say your name was again so that I can pray specifically – he started to go to the “Mr. Willie whatever” route and caught himself and then said “Brother Neal” and I was confused (thinking to myself well of course I know my own name) and I paused and said – “yeah but what is your name?” – he replied “Brother Neal – N – E – A – L” – again I was still confused and said “but I thought you said something about Mr. Willie” – he laughed and said “yeah my friends call me Mr. Willie-Pete as sort of a nickname, but my name is Neal” – I told him “NO WAY – that is my name and even the EXACT spelling” (since so many people think I spell it N – E – I – L sometimes it is a shock to hear it spelled the way I normally do). So once we had finished what seemed to be a scene from Abbott & Costello’s “Whose on First” routine, we begin to have prayer together. It was very strange, rather intriguing, and pretty cool. Then Mr. Willie-Pete/Brother Neal was off the porch and down the steps and on his way.
Who knows if we will ever see him again, probably not, but if we are truly of the same bloodlines and share in the same spirit – then I will no DOUBT see him again, we may not recognize one another, being in new bodies in a new Kingdom and we may not remember that day on the front steps there in Holly Springs, NC – but we will KNOW one another in the knowledge of Jesus Christ!
Oh by the way – the people came the next day – the “quote session” for a sunroom only took ALMOST 3 HOURS of the Martin’s evening and in case you are wondering about adding a sunroom to your house – it was just a measly $62,000! Needless to say – the Martin’s are extremely fine with the back porch that they currently have – sunroom anyone – NO THANKS – or at least not from that company!
Oh well – just another day in the life, wonder what might be up next!