National Leadership Forum -- Awesome:
Let me start with a disclaimer: Getting the opportunity to be at such an event has nothing to do with anything special about me. [I count myself just very fortunate to get to be here this week... and I'd like to specially thank Crossroads Bible College and Here's Life Inner City for helping this to come about.]
Last night was opening night. It started with a "city reaching roundtable"... 2 hrs worth of brainstorming with others in your city. Hmmm. Hoosiers -- we're behind the curve. We're not well represented here this time. Chicagoland had 20 people here... and other cities represented totaled about 500 here for the conference. Let's pray for an accelerated insight for the future. But how? Talk to me. How?
So last night was "Town Hall" format, entitled "The Gospel in the City". (with an audio feed to 3 radio networks). It featured 6 notable Christian panelists and 4 notable journalists asking the questions.
But for as exciting as all this is, yesterday's most notable experience was found simply as I was sitting, waiting in the lobby of the New York Hilton. An endearing elderly lady asked to sit beside me. We immediately began to talk -- she was just passing through, walking from her Manhattan apartment to the New York Library. I was sitting at her daily rest stop. Peggy. Perhaps somewhat a stereotype of the world traveling, self-made Manhattanite who had enjoyed the good life, now finds herself widowed, without children, and her only local friend is 'the lady down the hall who I really don't like very much'. But she's still upbeat. You couldn't help but like her. But although Jewish by heritage, she had no faith community. No real family. I listened at length. An hour later, because I'd listened, I earned a hearing as we parted. Trying not to presumptuously 'tell' my new elderly friend anything, I was allowed to quickly share my personal story -- a lifetime of the 'comfort of just following God around'. I'd had my ups & downs, wasn't at all perfect or someone who had followed Him particularly well, or a person to be envied... except that I had come to know God's peace early in life and after 40 years of following Him, I'd never regretted it. She accepted a "Free Gift" tract and promised me she'd be sure to read it. Pray for Peggy. She knows it wasn't a 'chance encounter' at her daily resting place.