It came to me yesterday, just after lunch, when I parked my car on Monument Avenue and headed into the church through the courtyard. I saw someone sitting on one of the benches in the sunshine and went over to introduce myself. He said his name was Isaac, and that he was from Kenya. “Isaac?” I said. “Like the son of Abraham?” “Yes! he said, smiling.
He told me that he had arrived in New York a few weeks ago, but found it too expensive. He got on a bus headed south and got off in Richmond. When he told his story to a cab driver, the driver brought him to First Baptist Church.
Isaac said, “I tried to go into the church but they wouldn’t let me in, so I sat here in the courtyard praying that the pastor would come out.” “I’m the pastor,” I said, and he said, “Oh, thank you, Jesus!”
Turns out Isaac is a world-class marathoner. When I asked him if he could run a marathon in four hours he smiled and said, “More like two hours” (FYI: the world record for the marathon is 2:03:38). But what he really seems to be is a world-class Christian. He knows more Scripture than I do and when he talks about Jesus tears come to his eyes.
What’s next for Isaac? I don’t know, but I do know that yesterday, in a sunny courtyard outside First Baptist Church, the Kingdom of Heaven came to Richmond, Virginia.