The Spirit told Phillip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”
Emotions ran high as we debated on social media the shooting of a teenage boy by a Chicago police officer. I took one side, and a former classmate, a Chicago police officer, took another. We both dug in deeper, and we were both convinced that our own individual viewpoint was the only way to see things.
A week later, following a friend’s prompting, the officer and I sat across from each other in a Chicago diner. I stirred my coffee with a spoon. Then he finally said, “Can we pray?” We did. And then, for the next two hours, we listened to each other. We committed to meet again. The next month, in the middle of the night, I received a text from a young man—a musical artist just released from prison on parole.
“Pastor, I need prayer. I look over my shoulder everywhere I go because of the life I live. Can you pray for me? I have no one to turn to. I’m despairing.” The next morning, I called, and we prayed together. We have texted and prayed together regularly since then. Where is the Holy Spirit taking us, and into whose lives? A police officer? A musical artist on parole? An old friend? An enemy? We never know.
God, lead us to follow your way, no matter how far it may lead outside our own plans. Like Philip as he met with the Ethiopian official on a desert road, may we be in step with your Spirit and obedient to his call. For Jesus’ sake, Amen.
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