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Welcome back to Beliefnet’s exclusive Bill Hybels devotional, “Living with Grander Vision.” This feed will appear in your profile every day for three full weeks. Did you miss any entries? Just stay subscribed, and the feed will begin again at the end of its cycle.
I took a ministry trip to Europe a couple of years ago. I got up one morning and was instantly greeted by the realization that I would be facing a lot of complex issues that day. It wasn’t just the content of my talks that concerned me; I also felt burdened about the language barriers, how I would deal with the always-interesting French/American dynamic, and how I would stay attuned to the Spirit’s promptings in the midst of distractions. So I got on my knees and prayed. Before I finished the prayer, I added, “God if you would open the door of conversation with somebody today, I would be happy to walk through it…”
An hour later, as I waited in the hotel lobby for my ride, the night watchman was standing by a far counter, glancing alternatively at the morning paper and at me. We struck up a relatively safe conversation, and I noticed he had an accent that wasn’t French. “Where did you grow up?” I ventured.
“A place you Americans have never heard of,” came the response.
“Hey, try me,” I laughed.
He grinned a grin that said, I told you so! and then replied, “Tunisia.”
Not easily dissuaded, I took a risk. “You didn’t grow up in Hammamet, did you?” I had been to Tunisia a grand total of one time and upon getting lost one day, I somehow landed in a place called Hammamet.
He jerked back his neck, raised his eyebrows, and looked at me like I had a crystal ball in my briefcase. Before he got tangled up in the obvious questions that were sure to follow, I explained how I had wound up there and admitted that it was the only Tunisian city I knew to guess.
Still stunned about my knowing his hometown, he asked what I was doing in Paris and listened with awe on his face as I explained that I was there to help pastors spread the love of Christ to the average people walking Paris’ streets.
His answer sticks with me still. “I’ve never met them,” he said, “these pastors who care about the average people in Paris.”
We talked about his perceptions about Christianity and about his native religion of Islam and, once my ride arrived, agreed to keep the conversation going by e-mail, which we did. I walked away from that dialogue shaking my head in disbelief: Did God bring me nearly six thousand miles from home to fulfill a speaking obligation, or did he do it to help one young man start to sort out his faith?
Spend several minutes considering your last few “work” days–whether that work involves being a professional, an at-home parent, a service provider, a student, or some other role. Jot down the work activities you accomplished, followed by the conversations you remember having. How likely is it that God would use your tasks and projects and services rendered to reach one of his children who is living far from him? If you are available to walk through whatever “open doors” of meaningful, spiritual conversation your Father provides for you today, tell him so now.

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