At home, playing hooky from school on Tuesday morning in 1973, I heard the milkman pull up in front of our house. A bit bored, I decided to meet him at the door. “Good morning,” he said, as he carried his metal rack of milk and orange juice down the driveway, “my name is Dave.”
This week your Kingdom Bloggers are writing about a time when the Kingdom of God was near, but we weren't ready to receive it.
“That’s my name too.” I told Dave.
“Can I bring your order in for you?” he asked.
“Sure.” I said opening the storm door to the garage stairs.
“What are you doing home today?” Dave asked.
“I got up and wasn’t feeling all that well.” I replied.
“Yeah, I have had those days for sure.” He said with a smile. “Now I get up every day and give my life over to God. It doesn’t matter what I do, it could be a good one or a bad one, but He is watching over me.”
“You’re kidding, God? I said, sort of closing one eye and scrunching my nose in disbelief. “I am not too sure I believe in any of that.” Then I tried to impress him with my knowledge of the Red Sea, explaining to him how the tide went out; letting Moses and five million Israelites escape the Egyptians army. (I never actually thought that if that was the case, the Egyptians drowned in a quarter inch of water.)
He chuckled and said, “Yeah, I didn’t believe that for along time either. But a day came when I crashed my truck, and I called on His name, as I lay on the side of the road bleeding and waiting for an ambulance - I got saved. I started going to church. Then I started reading the Bible and I was just amazed at how much God loved me.”
“I used to go to church, but it was boring—really boring. I have a red Bible I said. It has the date my cat died in 1967 written in it”
“Well just talking to you about Jesus is as good as church.” Dave said. “You don’t have to be in church for God to talk to you.”
I wasn’t really paying attention; I did like the idea of church in my kitchen though. It was pretty cool, I thought. I felt the need to tell him about the drugs I was taking and how my dad was an alcoholic.
“God will forgive you if you have faith, and He can take care of your dad too. He loves you both very much” He said.
We must have talked for a little while longer. It ended with him saying that he would get me some reading material that would explain everything. I remember calling a friend to tell her that I had just been to church. “What?” she said, “you are high!”
“No, this guy came to my door and talked to me about Jesus,” I explained. “He said that it was a good as going to church.”
She didn’t sound convinced. “Was he some sort of priest?” she asked.
“No! He was the freaking milkman, I just told you!” I said.
“OK! Geez!” Came a sarcastic voice from the other end of the line.
I thought about my conversation with Dave, and how it would be cool if God was real, if He would talk to me, and how good I felt to just have someone that seemed interested in my life.
The next week, there in the milk-box, was a white envelope that read. “Dave (smiley face) Jesus loves you.” Excited to hear about a loving God, I tore it open to find a bunch of tracts. How disappointed I was with cartoons of people burning in Hell. As I read them, I felt unloved, unwanted, and I got angry. Here is this nice milkman, I thought, but what kind of loving God is this, and tossed them in the trash.
How about you, did you encounter God or the message of salvation before you were saved?