“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer” Romans 10-12
Yesterday the Gideons completed their annual Bible distribution on the campus of ASU, distributing 1,776 New Testaments. It was all going as usual. Most of the students were friendly and cordial, some just ignored our existence and finally the rare quizzical look, as if to say, what are you doing here. We are use to all of this and enjoy the friendly students and take the rest as just part of the experience. Everyone fails and falls short of the glory of God, so we don’t judge, we just pass out copies of God’s Word. One encounter with two students was truly spectacular. A meeting that brought me joy and a true blessing.
I’m going to tell you the details of the encounter as best I can. I don’t have a great memory for names and to get the details perfectly right I need to write them down. So, if I mess up any of the names or details please forgive me.
Ken Murray, Hersel Story and I were at what we call tunnel 2. We were approached by a blond young lady and what appeared to be either her friend or boyfriend. We learned that her name was Mattie and I believe his name was Ben. Mattie asked Hersel who we were and he told her that we were Gideons, the men that put Bibles into hotel rooms and he shared additional information. I was a little distracted from the conversation as I continued to distribute Bibles (New Testaments with Psalms and Proverbs). As they spoke Mattie exclaimed that her father and Grandfather are preachers. She is obviously well versed in Christianity and even has a Bible reference and verse tattooed on her left upper arm.
You could see the exuberance she has for the Lord as she spoke, and in her concern for us. She noticed we didn’t have any water with us and Ben said to her, “Should we go and get them some water?” Or, something like that. Then we talked with her a little longer about why we were in business suits and ties, and I explained that it was kind of like the uniform for Gideons. She felt we might be more reachable to students if we dressed down a little. After a little additional chit-chat, Mattie asked if she could pray for us. We immediately said yes and we gathered into a huddle and Mattie prayed for us. It was sweet, kind, unexpected, amazing and wonderful.
Mattie’s wonderful prayer for us and our ministry was a fragrant breath of fresh air. It brought me true joy and blessed us all. Then Mattie and Ben left, only to return with an entire case of water which they divided up between the men at tunnel 2 (Ken, Hersel and me) and the 3 men at tunnel 1. This selfless act of kindness and generosity did not go unnoticed and we appreciated it deeply. I appreciated it so much I took the time to write this article, and I hope it blesses all that read about Mattie and Ben. Great young people, who are not perfect, because none of us are, but young people that care about others and love serving the Lord.
I love and appreciate you, Mattie and Ben!