Today I had a conversation with a man named Chuck. We shared a table at a potluck for the 55+ community in my church, Table Rock Fellowship.
During dinner conversation, Chuck told me some of his life story. When he was in college at UC Santa Cruz, he bought a bike to get around campus, but it arrived disassembled in a box. He tracked down the only person he knew with a tool set, who then invited him to share dinner in the trailer where he lived. Joined by the guy’s roommate, Chuck ate hot dog and tuna casserole and got to know the fellows who lived in the trailer.
They helped Chuck assemble his bike, and invited him back for dinner again, and again, and again. Being a poor, hungry college student, Chuck couldn’t turn down a hot meal, even if it tasted terrible. But something else happened over those hot dog and tuna casserole dinners. Chuck grew to know those guys, learned about their involvement with a group called Campus Crusade, and heard about the Jesus they followed with their lives.
Chuck told me that hot dog and tuna casserole were the gateway to him deciding to follow Jesus for himself. And that was the beginning of friendship that’s lasted over 35 years. Chuck just chatted with one of the guys over the phone a few weeks ago, telling Chuck about his new training as a truck driver from a hotel room in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
It’s amazing how small invitations to share a meal or assemble a bike can turn into something far bigger, far deeper.
How have you seen small invitations impact your life, for better or worse?