Andy, a 25-year-old man with few career aspirations, walked into the Pizza Hut where we worked together. He was white as a ghost. He had just found out that his girlfriend, who he was living with, was pregnant. He was a $6/hour shift-leader, without much hope of making more money anywhere else. What does a laborer for Jesus do? Judge, rebuke, shame? Or does he roll up his sleeves and help?
Andy was my friend, and even more than the shock of becoming a dad, I knew his “open nerve” was money. Navigator “elder statesman” LeRoy Eims used to encourage laborers to look for the open nerves in those they were living and laboring among. “What sensitive area in your friend’s life would make them open to spiritual things if it were exposed?” Over the following weeks, Andy and I read a Bible-based budgeting book to glean some principles on managing money. We drew up a budget which Andy and his girlfriend vowed to follow.
Who would care for this baby – neither parent could afford to quit their job, and they couldn’t afford day-care – was another huge issue. Andy’s mother was living in Louisiana and was willing to relocate to Colorado to be a full time babysitter, but she couldn’t afford to pay anyone to help her move. Again, how does a laborer respond? “Good luck”? Or… “Let’s think about this. Maybe there is another way out of this.” Soon after, Andy and I were on a flight to LA to drive the moving truck to Colorado. Somewhere around Oklahoma City, Andy placed his faith in Christ. His open nerve had been touched by Christ!
One of Ben’s favorite books on laboring is The Lost Art of Disciple Making by LeRoy Eims.