While Drexel went to place his order at Can Can this morning I struck up a conversation with a young man at the next table who was reading a book about the Christian response to poverty. He said his name was Andrew, that he was a member of Redemption Hill Church, and that he was getting ready to start the Richmond Christian Leadership Institute on Friday.
I told him what we were up to at Richmond’s First Baptist Church, how we had just launched a year-long, every-member mission trip and how on Sunday I had preached about not discriminating against the poor and about loving our neighbors as we love ourselves. Andrew was all over that. He said he’d been thinking a lot about loving his neighbors, and that he’d been wondering if he should sell his place on Monument Avenue and move to Church Hill. I said, “Are you serious? Because I was thinking about that very same thing on my way here this morning.” And that’s true. I had. And so I asked him if he’d like to join us on our mission and he said yes, absolutely. Was it a coincidence that he was sitting at the table beside me? I think not.
And speaking of that…on the way out I joked with someone who was sitting with a couple of other people making notes on a legal pad. “That’s the neatest handwriting I’ve ever seen!” I said, and he said, “Thank you!” And then said, “You look familiar.” I introduced myself and he did the same. He said, “We’re from the Peter Paul Development Center on Church Hill. We were just talking about how to engage with the faith community and how to get the Peter Paul story in front of some congregations.” I said, “How about Wednesday night, September 26, at 6:15 in the dining hall at First Baptist Church?” and he said, “I’ll be there.”
Again…coincidence? I think not.