Head trauma, uncut grass catalyze salvific Gospel encounter
Dealing with head trauma and the results of a fall earlier that week, master’s student Mike Rodriguez reluctantly stayed home from church. When he eventually got up that morning, a young man whom Rodriguez had never met knocked on his door and “practically begged” him to mow his lawn. Unable to do the task himself, Rodriguez consented. As the young man set about doing the yard work, Rodriquez, still groggy and lightheaded, asked God what He was up to.
About 10 minutes later, the young man knocked again, requesting that Rodriguez unlock the gate so that he could mow the backyard. Following “God’s pull,” Rodriguez accompanied the young man outside. Introducing himself and asking the young man’s name, Rodriguez learned that the man was attempting to raise money for school, as he wanted to be a veterinarian.
As they spoke, Rodriguez observed that the young man “looked like he was carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders.” He inquired as to what was troubling him, and the young man answered that his brother was struggling with an illness.
“I asked him what he was relying on to help him with his life and to get through his current challenges,” Rodriguez says. “He optimistically answered that he was just going to make it. I told him that was a good answer, but that it wasn’t good enough.”
When the young man asked what he meant, Rodriguez shared an illustration. He said that because his home is made of brick and wood, if a large enough storm comes, the house will be totally destroyed. The foundation, however, is sturdy, and thus will stand strong in the face of any storm.
“I told him that we aren’t big enough for our life problems and that we also have a sin problem,” Rodriguez says. He then inquired about the young man’s knowledge of spiritual matters. The young man said he knew of God and had heard “something about Jesus being nailed to a cross.” Rodriguez shared with him how God loved him and how He sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross for the sins of the world.
“I told him that as my house has a foundation, God is my foundation,” Rodriguez says, “and regardless of the storms in my life, God always stands strong. I shared with him that he could have the same thing and also know that he would spend eternity in heaven. I shared with him how God forgives our sins if we only know Him.”
Rodriguez asked if the young man understood what he was saying. The young man replied, “Yes, sir.” Rodriguez then asked him if he would like to accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior. With tears in his eyes, the young man answered, “Yes, sir.”
“On my porch, this young man gave his life to Christ,” Rodriguez says. “He hugged me, and I asked him if he had a Bible. He said he didn’t, and that is when I remembered [my recently purchased] travel Bible with the small font, perfect for a young man.” Rodriguez told him, “I have your Bible inside my house.”
“God is always at work in our lives,” Rodriguez reflects. “I know that He used my head trauma to cause a fainting episode, to put me in the hospital, to keep me from mowing my yard, to keep me at home from church, and to answer the front door so that I would be there when He guided this young man to my house. Yes, God used an uncut lawn to attract a lost young man to have church on my porch and to save his soul on a beautiful Sunday morning, all because of His love.”
Appealing to fellow believers to learn from this encouraging display of God’s saving grace, knowledge and power, Rodriguez says, “I pray that you don’t let the distractions in your life prevent you from sharing the Good News, regardless of how difficult they might appear to you.”