God’s Discipline

Have I ever told you about the time I had a homeless Cameroonian living in my house? No? Well, allow me to share. For the purposes of this discussion, we’ll call our homeless Cameroonian friend Ben. A few years back my family was involved with a church where I had volunteered to call people who filled out visitor cards asking for more information about getting involved in small groups. Ben had visited and asked to be contacted. I reached him on the phone a few days later. He was at the airport in D.C. getting ready to return from a conference of Christian aid workers working on water issues in Africa. In the course of talking with him, I discovered that Ben was heading to a homeless shelter that night to sleep. It didn’t feel right to allow that to happen so I called my husband. I asked him to talk with Ben and extend an offer to stay at our place while we worked to find a better solution to the situation. (My husband is preternaturally good at reading people and suspicious to boot, so I wanted him to make sure we weren’t inviting an ax-murderer into our home.) When my husband called back to let me know that he had arranged to pick Ben up from the airport, I said to him, “he’s under God’s discipline isn’t he?” I could just sense it in my spirit. There’s a certain way that things go wrong in a Christian’s life when a person is under God’s discipline. The bits of Ben’s story I had gotten from our phone conversation all pointed in that direction. My husband affirmed my own impression and said, “this should be interesting.” Continue reading