We had three truckers initially, then near the end of our study we were joined by one more gentleman, then a couple. The group was diverse. We had an Ecuadorian, an African-American from Mobile, Alabama, and a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant from Illinois. We were able to study the Bible together as fellow seekers of God’s will. The Word of God has a way of reconciling people, a lesson that should not be lost on us. The key to healing the breach is to follow the Word.
Today we spent a good deal of time talking about the truckers’ personal stories. How did they come to have an interest in the things of God? The three gentlemen each had unique and interesting stories. All three firmly believe they had a genuine encounter with God that changed their lives. Whether the encounter came as a kind act from a believer at a critical time in life, a life threatening illness that forced one to face his own mortality, or whether as a return to the teachings of one’s youth after experimenting with the ways of the world. All three had an obvious enthusiasm to talk about God, the Bible, and the meaning both have in their lives.
I was impressed by one aspect of the Ecuadorian’s story. This was in 1988, and he was in the US Army. Someone from a Christian background invited him to his home for Thanksgiving dinner. I had never thought of it quite this way before, but engaging your community and those in it by means of hospitality can be a form of evangelism. Several times in our conversation the gentleman mentioned the importance of being a light. I suppose from personal experience he understands the importance of that.
The gentleman from Mobile related an interesting story from this past week. He attended his son’s high school graduation. Keep in mind this is a public school. He said that both the valedictorian and salutatorian gave speeches, and both mentioned the importance of their faith in God. Putting this together with other stories I have heard recently, it’s beginning to look like the children of this nation are taking a stand where their elders have been afraid (or ashamed) to. In conjunction with this, we talked about ways that we can "stand in the gap", taking off on Ezekiel 22.
All three truckers said that they have noticed a greater interest in issues of faith over the past couple of years. There is a longing that needs to be filled, and people know there is something terribly wrong in spite of prosperity. As an example, ten years ago there were very few truck stop ministries, whereas today they can be found all over the country.
I ended today’s session reviewing Psalm 8 and Hebrews 2, which explain God’s purpose for mankind. The idea that God will put all things under our feet—that our destiny is to rule the universe—is exciting news indeed and seemed to open a few eyes. They took Bibles, tapes, and a little bit of literature with them. Hope to see these men again some time soon.
[Lenny Cacchio may have learned as much from those attending this Bible study as they learned from him. If one believes that God only teaches through certain "ministers", this does not make sense. But if we believe that Jesus Christ is the head of the Church—guiding every member—working in their lives to teach them, then we can easily understand this study. A vital lesson that should not be lost: one Christian with only a little Bible knowledge, but willing to invite a stranger to dinner can have a more profound effect than another Christian who has great Bible knowledge and a houseful of booklets—but who is not willing to step out and befriend the "sinners" of this world. — NSE]
Lenny Cacchio can be contacted at:
705 NE Bryant Drive, Lees Summit, Missouri 64068