I was entering the learning center when the old man stopped me.
“Do I know you from the store?” he asked.
I knew he meant Grocery Depot, the Mennonite-owned store in town that mostly employs other Mennonites.
“I don’t work there anymore, but I used to,” I said. “I have friends that work there.”
“But do you guys pray?” he asked me.
“Yes,” I said.
“My son Jeremiah lives in Arazona, and he just tried to commit suicide,” said the man. “Can you pray for him?”
Suicide. The horrible, horible thing that stole my cousin Lenny from my own family. “Yes, I’ll pray,” I promised. “Would you like me to pray for you right now?”
“Yes,” said the man.
So in the crowded hall at LBCC I prayed for this man, and his son Jeremiah, pleading with God to spare Jeremiah’s life, and help him find the help he needed to cure his depression.
When I was done, the man was crying.
“Thank you,” he said.
And then we went our separate ways.
Sometimes I get frustrated by the fact that I look very religious. I don’t like being defined by the fact that I am a Mennonite instead of the fact that I am a Christian.
But that day, since I looked religious, God used me to bless this man.
That’s an awesome story, Emily!
Although I’m not Mennonite, I can relate to the stereotype-thing as I am a PK (pastor’s kid). Just yesterday a stranger approached me and asked, “Are you the minister’s daughter?” I said yes, but it kind of bugged me all day. I kept thinking, “None of my friends get called ‘farmer’s daughter’ or ‘construction worker’s daughter’. Why is my identity marked by my dad’s employment?”
Thanks for putting a positive spin on my negative thoughts. Perhaps someday God will use my unwanted “label” for His purpose…
I love this, Emily. Thanks for the encouragement!!!
Beautiful. Thanks for sharing 🙂
Our actions speak louder and clearer than our words. If our heart is with God he will make known to those in need that we can tell them about his comfort. Your Mennonite clothes may have helped however if he remembered you from interaction and you had not been Christ like, two sets of Mennonite clothes would not have helped.
Reminds me of this scripture: 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”
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Strangely enough, in some cultures foreign to ours, the Mennonites are known as true followers of Jesus, as you want to be known, instead of “Christians”: Americans, Hollywood, politics, etc. I think Jesus WANTS His followers to be known from a distance or at first glance, not just once you get to know them better.