A friend of mine has a bumper sticker on the back of his car with a Christian logo for his company. He was approached at a gas station this week by a man in a sharp looking suit. The man was clean shaven and looked like he was late for an appointment, yet walked up to Dan’s car next to the passenger window, which was rolled halfway down. Hunching over to speak through the window the man said, “I saw your bumper sticker…are you a Christian?”
Dan hesitated wondering what the guy really wanted before he said yes.
“Well, I’m an atheist,” the man replied. “Can you answer a question for me?”
Again there was hesitation and then Dan said, “Okay.”
“When you get to heaven and are ready to pass through the gates what do you hope God will say to you?”
Retelling the story Dan pointed upward with his right arm and said he felt the right answer come from God. And then he told the man, “Well, I hope that I will make it those gates…and if I do I think God will say, ‘Dan, look behind you. See that guy half-way down the line? That is the guy from the gas station. He made it, too.”
The man smiled, said thank you, and then walked away.
One brief encounter. One short response. One small moment in the scheme of life. An eternal impact. Our encounters can be the same. Who we encounter. What we say. Will we take the time to make a difference?