What If I’d Left?

This story written by Karen Matambo, a Compassion Boston Bible Worker.

At our Bible worker meeting, Jack reminded us to not rush away from someone’s door if they’re not home, but to wait a while praying for them, and try again in case they were held up somewhere. I listened intently not knowing that just hours later I would get to put this wisdom into practice.

We knocked and knocked again. We thought we heard some movement in the apartment and knocked a third time, then prayed and went to stand near the elevator, continuing to pray before trying one more time. We had walked in with a skip in our step looking forward to studying with John* who seemed so excited to study with us. We even had a gift for him, but now it seemed we might have to carry it back home with us. Did he have a doctor’s appointment?

His neighbor walked by and greeted us twice before going downstairs. We tried to knock on John’s door again to no avail. 

“Okay, let’s go downstairs and we can even head to your study early,” I told my Bible study partner.

In a hurry to reach John’s house, I had scarfed down part of my lunch and left the rest for later. I asked my partner if we could stop a moment in the apartment lobby area so I could finish my lunch.

A third time the neighbor walked by, but this time she asked us, “Are you church people or something?” She had seen us holding John’s gift at the elevators.

“Um, something like that,” my partner answered.

And I added, “We are here to see one of your neighbors, but it looks like he might not be here.”

“Are you talking about John?” (Wow, how did she know?) “Oh, he’s there,” she continued. “On a day like this he doesn’t go anywhere.”

But we hadn’t seen him. She soon went upstairs and I continued with my lunch. Moments later John’s neighbor returned.

“He’s up there. He said he was in the bathroom when you came and he sent me here to call you back upstairs,” she explained.

Praising God and still shocked at what had taken place, we sprang upstairs and not only got to study with John, but we also had the privilege of giving him his new Bible! 

What if we had left the moment he didn’t answer the door? Would we have met his neighbor and seen God work in such a mysterious way? God is good and “He makes all things beautiful in His time.”

*Name changed.