Heavy downpour turns lunch break into witnessing opportunity
Southwestern accountant Rob Bourcier assumed the small umbrella lent him by a friend would be sufficient to keep him dry on his walk to the parking lot. But when he stepped outside for his lunch break, he learned that it was not merely sprinkling; indeed, the heavy downpour brought him to the unfortunate conclusion that his umbrella would not do him any good. Even so, this lamentable turn of events turned out to be God-orchestrated.
Standing outside the door of Scarborough Hall, Bourcier noticed that he was not alone. An electric company employee, who was working on campus that day, was also there trying to keep dry next to the door. “I sat there and thought, ‘OK, you can either go to lunch and eat but get drenched—get your socks, your shoes, everything drenched—or, God has a reason for this man being here and you being here,’” Bourcier recalls. “So I started talking to this man.”
This conversation took place earlier this semester near the beginning of the football season, so their first topic of discussion was the NFL and players’ decision to kneel during the national anthem. From there, Bourcier says, “We started talking about injustices, things of that nature, and then I made the comment that there will never be any justice until the Lord Jesus Christ comes to reign in the Millennial Kingdom. That was all over his head, but it gave me an opportunity and a bridge as we began talking.”
The man, who was African-American, shared that he grew up in a Baptist church but left at age 8 and never returned. He expressed concerns over supposed racial injustices within the church.
In response, Bourcier says, “I shared with him that our school here and the people whom I know, whom I’ve had the opportunity to work with, have a love for people in general, and there should be no racial boundaries here.” The man resonated with that, Bourcier says. He continues, “I began to then get him to Jesus—that Christ needs to be the central focus of our lives, because none of us stands before God perfect; we’ve all sinned.”
Bourcier then “rattled off” several passages of Scripture, such as Romans 3:23, reasoning that the Lord could “do something with that.” When Bourcier reached the point of asking whether the man had ever placed his faith in Jesus Christ, the man said neither “yes” nor “no,” but rather reiterated his issues with injustice in the church.
Bourcier continued to share his heart for the man and invited him to attend his church. “[I] said that he would find an incredible pastor who would love him for who he is,” Bourcier says, “and we would really love to show him that [despite] any experiences he’s had in the past, there’s newness of life in a lot of people who would love him.”
Though the man did not make a decision to follow Christ, he and Bourcier had had a fruitful conversation nonetheless, and the man heard the Gospel. And when their discussion concluded, the rain stopped.
“I felt the Lord at that point said, ‘Now you can go to lunch,’” Bourcier says. “Had it not been raining, I would have walked right on past this guy; and maybe a lot of people did. But the Lord, with that rain, [stopped me]. I thought, ‘Lord, you’re something amazing’; that was a divine appointment.”
“[Southwestern President Paige] Patterson keeps telling us that there are opportunities to speak to people on campus,” Bourcier concludes. “I think it just takes eyes to see and a heart of compassion.”