I look back on my junior year of college – and I cringe.
‘Idiot’ is the only word that comes to mind.
Lazy, insecure, dependent, undisciplined, and foolish fit, too.
But idiot sums it up best.
I was a kid with an engagement ring on my left hand – and nothing much going on in my head or heart.
And it’s so unfortunate. Those years… they are prim with possibilities and freedoms – and I let myself slug them right away.
Because of this, I don’t remember all that much about my third year of university. I was too busy doing noble and important things like picking out wedding napkins, being the fiance at football games, and getting my hair dyed.
But I do remember this one day…in this one class.
It was mid-week, and the windows along the back wall of the classroom were allowing in all kinds of sunshine.
This particular course required each pupil to write in a journal at the start of each class meeting.
After the instructor gave us a few minutes to scribble something out about some directed topic, she would ask for volunteers to read their writing aloud.
I always did.
Now at this point, I wasn’t writing regularly and wasn’t really all that interested in doing so. I didn’t have much of a desire to ponder and then pen things out. ( I was busy, remember.)
My writing was forced, average (if that), and redundant. You may think it still is. And I’m okay with that. 🙂
But on this one particular afternoon, I again volunteered to read my writing out loud. It was a more spiritual topic this time, yet I can’t remember the exact theme.
After my reading that day…
This lovely Jordanian girl, a fellow class pupil, approached.
What she said has stuck with me for over 11 years now.
All fully covered in black, with only her shining face showing, she said…
“When you read what you have written, I get chills.”
And in that moment….even in my current state of mediocrity and immaturity….
I recognized that what caused her to get chills was God Himself.
His Spirit tinging whatever I had scratched out to fulfill an assignment each class period.
Because it dang sure wasn’t me.
While I wasn’t fully walking with Christ at this time, I would stroll with Him whenever it suited me – and thankfully I at least had the ability to acknowledge the Lord in this event.
Now fast forward a decade.
I had not thought of this day for quite some time – when I found myself on the streets of swanky London last week.
Walking along – on sidewalks and shop floors – I couldn’t help but notice the overwhelming presence of people who were very clearly of different religions.
Many places we were the only ones not dressed in garb revealing our beliefs.
London is where the world converges, it seems. People from all walks, continents, and religions coincide.
When I saw all their faces, I remembered hers.
And then I remembered the pen again.