One of my mission fields is right here in my apartment building. Most of the people living here are nice, and I’m getting to know them. There are exceptions, but my thought is always that if a person isn’t nice, there must be a reason, with some hurt in their life, making them a subject for prayer.
During a community dinner among tenants yesterday, a fellow I hadn’t met passed by me, so I said, “Hi, we haven’t met. I’m Ray, what’s your name?” He said his one-syllable name gruffly as he kept on going. I said, “I’m glad to meet you,” using the name I thought I heard. He angrily shouted “No, that’s not my name.” I said “I’m sorry, I don’t always hear well.” He sneers back, “Sam, Sam, Sam, you got it” (name changed for this post).
Things like that roll right off me, but I saw some people were quite upset and moved to another table. I quietly ministered to several people that we just need to pray for him. Leaving the room later, Sam was also just leaving, so I apologized again to him in the hallway and asked if he was okay. “Bad day,” he said, “like every day.”
Today, getting my mail, a few people were gathered in the hallway discussing the incident. They said he is “always hateful like that.” They wanted to know how I could treat him so kindly and not be upset. I mentioned that “Jesus within helps one be forgiving and compassionate.” I said that we just need to pray for him because his life is miserable, and we don’t want him to be miserable eternally. One lady said, “let him go where the sun don’t shine.” Most committed to pray for Sam.
You don’t have to say much to be an example to others. They see how you react and live. The Lord is using me regularly to plant seeds here. I know the Lord is a work and I will see the fruit. Please pray for my ministry among my neighbors.