A friend of mine working in OM talks a lot about “eye-winks” from God. This is her term for those incredible coincidences that surprise you completely, and you know that only God could have brought that situation about. A God who sees everything, knows everything and can do everything can’t exactly be surprised by a turn in events. Surely those coincidences are not in fact accidents, but special moments brought about by a God who has not only His own divine purposes, but also a sense of humour.
I spoke in a high school recently called Stanford Lake College. This was something a bit different for me. Whilst the schools I mostly visit are poorer public schools, and want me to chat about HIV prevention, this was a much classier, private high school. Many of the children have parents in government or big business, and the school is not lacking in any resource or facility. I was asked to speak on motivating these kids to be involved in the HIV pandemic, instead of the usual prevention message (this is not to say that richer kids aren’t at risk of HIV – in fact, one of the demographics in which HIV rates are growing the fastest are young professionals).
It was a great morning. The kids seemed to be really interested in what I was saying, and even though this is not a Christian school, I was given the opportunity to be pretty open about my faith. I was able to share about the God of love, who cares for the orphans and widows, provides for their needs and our own, and even paid the price for our sins on the cross. Whilst I would normally like to be able to chat to the kids afterwards, they all unfortunately had to head to class straight away. The school was about four hours away from where I normally live, so I wouldn’t have been able to do any real follow-up in the near future. But God had another plan…
A week later, I was in a beach town with Herman, his family and Flower Girl for a few days break (You’ve gotta love South Africa – three days public holiday in one week!). I was strolling along the beach one day, and was surprised to be suddenly surrounded by this group of teenagers.
“You probably don’t recognise us, but you spoke at out school last week. We’re from Stanford!”
Let me add at this point in the story, that the place we were staying is in a completely different province, and isn’t a big town either. I had traveled eight hours in the complete opposite direction from the school, only to bump into the kids again! They were busy with a school camp, and were not able to talk very often, but even though we weren’t able to do a lot of chatting, I could still have a couple of really cool, albeit quick, conversations. In one, a girl mentioned with a smile that my talk had been really “hardcore”. I assume that is a good thing (I just checked in the dictionary to make sure!) – and it is the truth. The message of Jesus Christ is hardcore! His love is hardcore! Unswerving, without limits, beyond our wildest dreams (I’m preaching to myself here)! The message of the cross is hardcore, and I pray something of that message touched these young people.
I don’t understand what the Lord’s purposes were in that chance meeting. But this I am trying to comprehend: “how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is” (Eph 3:18). That’s hardcore love!
By the way, here are a few little photos from the holiday: