A few weeks ago I was at the local supermarket picking up our groceries from the ‘click and collect’ area and got into conversation with the cheerful staff member. As we talked I discovered he had some pain issues with his legs and knees. He joked by saying that it was his own fault as an ex-paratrooper captain he still ran 5 miles everyday at 4.00am!
Summoning my courage, as we bantered around the health issues, I asked him if he ever prayed. His reply was amusing. ‘My daughter is a Christian and she does enough for both of us’. He then went on to explain that ‘The Big Man Upstairs’ had been looking after him: 11 tours of service, seeing action in Afghanistan, driving over an IED, seeing some of his friends die, technically dead for 9 minutes from cardiac arrest, etc.
‘Wow!’ I said. I then pulled out a trypraying booklet and said, ‘Look. This is for people who are not religious and who don’t do church. Why don’t you try praying for a week and see what happens?’ He said, ‘Well, as an officer and a gentleman, I give you my word that I will do that and I’ll let you know how I get on next week.’
Next week at the click and collect he spotted me and said he had read the trypraying booklet. ‘It makes you think, doesn’t it’, he commented. I said ‘Yes it does. But as a matter of interest, did you actually pray any of the prayers in the booklet?’ He said he would be lying if he said he had. So I said to him, ‘OK. My challenge to you this week is to go back through the booklet and pray the prayers.’ He said that as a former officer and sometime gentleman(!) he would give me his word that he would do that.
So last Friday we met again at the click and collect. He was beaming as he told me he had prayed the prayers. He said. ‘You know within an hour I was feeling totally different. My legs were so much better and I haven’t felt this good for 5 or 6 years. I have an inner calm that I’ve not had before. I used to be a real skeptic and would poo-poo the whole idea of God but it’s so different now.’
I challenged him to go to day 6 in the booklet and be sure he had received Christ into his life. He said, I’ve done that!’ I said well my next challenge is to start thanking him that he is in your life. He said, ‘I’ve been doing that!’ I said my next challenge is to tell your daughter. He said, ‘I’ve done that!’ I said my next challenge is to give the trypraying booklet to someone else who isn’t a Christian. He said he’ll give it to his wife.
I said, one day I want to film your story and he said ‘That’s a deal. I’ll do that for you!’