Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Portraits: Monsieur J

I met him less than 24 hours after I first arrived in France. Everyone was new to me, every face unfamiliar, and every story yet unlearned. I don't think I remembered a single person's name that day. But I remember that I could tell that God was doing something in him. Indeed, He really was doing something. Less than two weeks later, I watched as this man prayed to put his faith in Jesus Christ.

Five years ago he used to mock his sister for her faith. I can't imagine how she must have felt, the anguish she must have gone through that her twin brother mocked the God she loved, that he rejected the only One who could give him life. I hear she often worried that he would die before he gave his life to Jesus. But five years later.... five years later he believes! Does not your heart rejoice at His great faithfulness and mercy?

God's still working in him so very deeply. It's just one of those things, where I can look at him and I can just tell. And it's certainly not because he has told me so. His English isn't so good, and my French is awful. We don't really converse much past the 'bonjour' and 'au revoir' even though I see him several times every week. In addition to our language barriers, he's extraordinarily shy. He doesn't say much. He's never the center of attention. And I don't really know, but I have a feeling that when he does speak, it's when he's got something important to say. Although I can't really test this theory, because usually I only hear him speak French.

He doesn't have a job, and until recently, not much of a social life either. He loves mechanics, and hates celtic music according to his sister (she loves it). He's eager to study the Bible and learn more about He who is Savior. From what I can tell, he takes every single little opportunity he can get to know more about Him.

My vision? I want to see him know God better than any other man in France. I pray that He will have a never ending thirst for Him, for His Word, for His life. I hope to see him become a great teacher, preacher, and theologian. I hope to see his life forever changed and marked by Him. I hope to see a man who forsakes everything to follow, who picks up his cross daily, who goes ever deeper into fellowship with his God. I  can't make this happen in his life, but I can pray, and I'm quite sure God will be happy to do it. Will you pray with me?