Come – Mayday Mayday
Peter was upset that he asked for the third time, "Do you love me?" so he answered, "Master, you know everything there is to know. You've got to know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my sheep.” The Message
I’m a Christian. If I love Christ, and want to help people come to Jesus, I need to “feed” His sheep. Sometimes that command is literal and I actually feed someone real food. Since I’m not much of a cook, people usually prefer it if I take them to a restaurant but when God says cook, I cook. Sometimes, the command means to feed people spiritually or emotionally and He calls on me to offer a word of encouragement or even rebuke. People usually prefer the encouragement. Every once in a while, God calls on me to help people be able to feed themselves. I love those assignments from God. With those, I get to call on my business skills and offer professional mentoring about something I spent years of my life doing.
I met May in a woman’s restroom. She was a beautiful petite young woman dressed in a navy business suit and when I entered she was fanning herself. Since it wasn’t hot, I wondered if she was all right. When I came out of the stall, she was still fanning herself and her color was fading.
“Are you OK?” I asked.
“No,” she said. “I have a job interview and I’m nervous.”
“Do you want me to pray for you?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said. “I could use all the prayers I could get.”
“Do you want me to pray now with you?” I asked.
She stepped back and looked nervous. “No,” she said. “Just pray for me.”
“Are you Christian?”
“No, but I’ll take any prayers.”
“You’re Buddhist, aren’t you?”
“Yes,” she smiled shyly.
Realizing she was close to hyperventilating, I said , “Take some deep breaths.” I looked into her eyes and started breathing with her. She matched my rhythm and her color began returning.
“What are you interviewing for?” I asked.
“A job at the United Nations.”
“I’m impressed,” I said. “What is the job?”
“It is entry level but I want to work in third world countries and this would be a stepping stone for me. I came from a third world country and I want to help.”
I asked, “Are you interviewing with a man or a woman?”
“A man,” she said.
“Handshakes are important to men,” I said. “Do you know how to give a good handshake?”
“It’s firm,” she said.
“You’re right. I used to teach people how to shake hands. Let’s practice.” I held out my hand and she shook it.
“Not bad but get your hand all the way in between the thumb and first finger. Men are very personal with their handshake. And look into the eyes and not at your hand. Men in America grow up shaking hands and are more comfortable with it than most women. We worry about missing so we watch the hands. Look in the eye.”
“I’d never thought about that. I always look at the hands,” she said.
“Are you qualified for the job?” I asked.
“I hope so,” she said shyly.
“Not I hope so,” I responded. “If it is true, the answer is yes. Now, are you qualified for the job?”
She stood straighter and looked me in the eyes. “Yes,” she said proudly.
“Go in there confident and prepared to tell them why you want the job. Know your goals. You’re beautiful, smart, and they are going to love you. They would be blessed to have you.”
“Thank you,” she said.
I gave her a card. “Write me and tell me how it went." I got a letter a couple of days later thanking me for my help. The interview went well. She has an informal job offer if she is able to work a couple of things out with her visa and work permit. She asked for continued prayer.
I wrote her back and asked if I could write about our encounter. She wrote back, “Of course you can put the story on the Internet. It will help encourage others to help people.” She also asked again for prayer.
I’ll add May to my prayer list. I’ll pray for this job and her dreams of helping others in a third world country. I’ll also pray that one day she will know the Jesus that loved her enough to send her someone to encourage and calm her as she stood alone in that restroom sending out signals that said, Mayday, mayday. I’ll thank God for her gentle humble spirit and her willingness to serve others.
To see pictures of May – Go to the photo gallery and look in New York - Second Day in the City.