04 April 2016

of yummy breakfasts and hoping... praying...

A week ago, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and noticed that one of my friends was giving her testimony at a Déjeuner de l'Espoir.

"What's that?" you ask.

Translated literally, it means "Breakfast of Hope..." or perhaps "Breakfast for Hope" is a better translation... but that's a bit of quibbling over details. 😊 Regardless, "for more than 23 years, Hope for Today has regularly offered these free conversational breakfasts 'chats' in restaurants throughout the region of Québec. The goal of [these breakfasts] is to present Jesus Christ and to invite those at the breakfast to become his followers. At these meetings, participants will hear powerful testimonies from men and women whose lives have been transformed by the love of Jesus, the Son of God, simply by having accepted Him as their only Savior and Lord." (translated from the web page of Aujourd'hui l'Espoir)

And so back to my story... I attended one of these this past weekend...

It was a bit of a stretch for introvert me. Tim couldn't go - he was busy recording upcoming television programs. Between school and church, the kids have usually had their fill of French and tend to like their English Saturdays at home, with the family. But I really wanted to hear my friend's testimony while experiencing first hand this ministry facilitated by the organization we've come to Quebec to partner with, so even amidst second thoughts, I dutifully drove to the restaurant. The fact that it was a breakfast meeting and we were going to a Chinese restaurant did concern me a little bit as I had no idea what might be served for breakfast. In hindsight, that needn't have been a worry at all - omelets, quiche, eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes and waffles with REAL maple syrup, baked beans, lots of fruit... it was a really, REALLY good breakfast buffet!

I sat down - at the end of one of the long tables set up for the breakfast in the private room rented for the affair, and before too long, an older gentlemen walked up, asked if the seat across from me was saved. When I said it wasn't, he asked if I minded if he sat there. 

Which began a conversation that left me both brokenhearted and hopeful...

My new friend is a 79 year old bachelor. He really enjoys farming and gardening. From our conversation, I concluded that perhaps, the first part of his life was wasted... in many ways... and then he read a book that changed his life. It wasn't the Bible. This book, did, however, highly regard Jesus as the best prophet that ever walked this earth. And now, so did this man. wants to live his life modeled after Jesus. Yet as I was visiting with him, it was very clear that he believed was a really good person, one of the good guys involved in charity work and other social Gospel activities. He was convinced that God would be happy to welcome him into Heaven some day. He believes Christ died on the cross to save the world. But... I didn't understand him to say that he thought he actually needed a Savior - just a good life model/mentor. 

While we were eating, I shared my testimony. He heard my friend's testimony, which was unmistakably clear. He heard the pastor who introduced my friend summarize all men's need for a Savior and then the plan of salvation. He also heard the man who concluded the breakfast with a final clear, short and sweet, presentation of the Gospel.

He left the breakfast, thanking my friend for her testimony, but not really seeing that her words were applicable for him... to him. 

I left the breakfast, heart heavy because of a sweet older gentleman; we'd enjoyed delightful conversation for over an hour that morning, yet even when presented with the truth, he didn't recognize his need. He is blind, but claims he can see.

That morning, I came home and sat down to read my bible... I was a couple of days behind schedule - it had been a crazy busy week.

This was the passage (NLT, from John 10):
   When Jesus heard what had happened, he found the man and asked, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
   The man answered, “Who is he, sir? I want to believe in him.”
   “You have seen him,” Jesus said, “and he is speaking to you!”
   “Yes, Lord, I believe!” the man said. And he worshiped Jesus.
   Then Jesus told him, “I entered this world to render judgment—to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.”
   Some Pharisees who were standing nearby heard him and asked, “Are you saying we’re blind?”
   “If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty,” Jesus replied. “But you remain guilty because you claim you can see.

Sometimes, it is easy to look at people like the Pharisees - and not like them or become frustrated with their stubborn blindness. 

I was reminded that Pharisees were just like this man, probably really great folks (outside of their angry conversations with Christ) - and that Jesus came for people like them "to render judgment—to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.” 

Join me in praying for my friend... 

May God show him his blindness so that he can, truly, see.

And may God show each of us our areas of blindness, for we all have areas where we are Pharisaical, where we have to acknowledge our blindness before we ever have hope of truly seeing.

Not too many days ago - but the sun's shining now and I can actually see a small patch of grass in front of that tree today. M&M came home from school and wanted to know if she could go lay out in the sun on the grass!

(In the interest of full disclosure - all food pictures included in this post were prepared by me and/or my gang and were taken at our house... not at the restaurant.)

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