There was this kid in town who seriously just ripped. He was the super quiet kid who never cracked a smile; always focused and serious and kind of always looked like he was scowling. But he stomped everything. He rode super hard. He got shots. He intimidated me and everyone else on the hill or in the skatepark.
He rarely talked to anyone, but after being in town for a while, we started to build some cred with him. We weren’t chummy by any stretch of the imagination, but if we saw him on the hill, he’d give us the head nod. Dude was just straight up intimidating. There was no other word for it. Then one day he texts and says, “Let’s go to the backcountry tonight after midnight. I wanna drop this cornice for a night shot,” and I’m like, “This dude is crazy. That cornice is stupid big, even in the daytime.” We went. I didn’t hit it.
Later, he began attending SFC and he would sit and stare at everyone during the entire half hour of worship. People would be singing and have their hands raised and he sat there staring, kind of confused-looking but stoic as always. He was stone cold. It was actually difficult to lead worship because when you would open your eyes, he was sitting there staring and intimidating. We found out that he was coming because he liked one of the girls who volunteered, and when she stopped coming, so did he.
Probably a year after he moved out of town, I ran into him and he had this huge smile on his face and this relaxed peacefulness about him. He was like, “Hey man! How are you? Dude, can we please hang out? It’s so rad to see you!” I had no idea how to respond. I was in shock. Who was this dude?! He was so calm and relaxed that anyone who wasn’t familiar with Jesus would’ve thought maybe he was high or something, but he wasn’t. I knew that this was a Jesus thing immediately. He said, “Me and some of the SFC dudes have been going to this church that just teaches the Bible. I love it. It’s SOOO good.”
I still have no idea at what point he began to follow Jesus and surrendered his life to God, but I am 100% sure he has met Jesus. He is a TOTALLY different person. His entire disposition has changed to one of joy and peace as opposed to intimidation and anger.
SFC Brah-verb #19: Jesus’ job is change; ours is love. Love unconditionally. Love with no agenda other than, “This is how Jesus calls me to live.” True, selfless love speaks volumes about our integrity and the truth of Jesus’ life-changing power in our lives. But we aren’t responsible for changing people. We’re just the messengers.
It’s wild how powerfully Jesus changes people’s lives and how the evidence can be soooo easy to see.
Jesus called Zacheus, a despised and dishonest tax collector to Himself and Zacheus climbed out of the tree, went straight to his house and gave four times the amount back to those he had cheated. True encounters with Jesus change people. It’s just that simple.
Each of us who have encountered the life-changing power of Jesus have a story to tell. There are dudes I shred with maybe once a week who are continuously looking for the next big thing. I’ve developed solid relationships with them. I’ve been praying for them, and I’m praying for more opportunities to talk about what they’re “seeking” in life and share with them about how Jesus came to “seek and save that which was lost” and share what He’s done in me.
Are you praying for the people you meet on the hill?
How often do you pray for an opportunity to share your story with these friends of yours?
Would you and your buddies commit to taking a couple minutes to pray for your friends before you get on the hill this week?