I’m standing in the toothpaste aisle at Walmart. Around the corner, there he comes. He makes a too-wide turn, cart bumping the shelves.
“Drunk driving,” says the stranger, and that’s when I really stop and look. “Drunk driving never pays.” He’s grinning, but somehow I know instantly that he’s talking about himself and that something is off. He isn’t quite coherent.
There are times to speak gently and times to speak boldly, and I know that this time, it’s the latter. In that moment, everything around me fades away, and in a busy aisle, it’s just me, Mr. Schrock, and a suffering man.
“I have a son who tried that.” As I speak, I look directly into his face. He has my full attention. “It didn’t work out well.”
The strange man is still smiling. “I just got out of jail.”
“That happened with my son.” I’m matching him point for point, and now I press in. “He’s doing so well now. God saved his life–God saved his life!–and brought him back. Now he’s working and thriving and telling other people about his faith.
“You don’t have to stay where you are. You can choose something different.” I tell him of a local ministry that’s been a lifeline for many. I repeat it once, then twice, planting the seed in the hole that God’s opened, covering it over with love.
In the checkout line, I see him one more time. “David,” I say, and he turns.
“I’m an alcoholic.” He’s already forgotten that he told me.
“I know,” I say. “Remember that you can choose.” He’s forgotten my name, too, so I simply say, “You can call me Jordan’s mom. I’ll be praying for you.”
Tonight, I know there is hope for David and everyone else who’s washed up on the rocks of sin and despair. For those who will place their faith in the risen Christ, a glad future awaits.