November 14, 2019
By Fadi Kamel
A few years ago, I learned there was a colleague of mine who had no car. Her form of transportation from home to work and vice versa relied on public transportation and her bicycle. One day I asked if she would like to receive the Weekly Prayers via email, but she respectfully declined as she identified as an agnostic/ boarder line atheist. But further insight into her life would not unfold until a few weeks later when we met again in the employee cafeteria. The good old cafeteria where God appointed me to start reading my bible came in to serve its purpose. I had just finished eating my lunch and was walking toward the nearest trash can to throw it away when my knees locked, and I sensed a gentle nudge to turn around and use the garbage on the opposite end of where I was. I didn’t know why or how but I listened to this tender push and as I drew near, it was not just me who was utilizing this garbage but also her.
As silly as it may seem, this was a divine appointment set by God to which a conversation was spurred that led to a friendship with each other and with Christ. It was then that I learned she had no car and that her only form of transportation was the bus and her bike. Even more, I learned that she, her husband, and three-year-old daughter had just recently moved to Michigan. Their community support was minimal to nonexistent. I immediately knew what God wanted me to do and that was to love her and her family despite our opposing views on faith and to serve her where she needed it the most.
As our conversation ended, I offered to give her a ride whenever she needed, and she was genuinely thankful for it. But I knew God wanted me to be adamant about this offer. It wasn’t something I could just wait and see if she took me up on it. Instead, I followed up with an email ensuring her that I was serious. So, I did, and she took me up on it. A year full of car rides together brought a friendship that was built on sharing life together. I got to meet her husband and their beautiful young daughter. My wife Jillian and I became very close friends with her and her family. Our car rides came to an end in June of 2017 as I left that workplace for another opportunity, yet God remained with her and we, Jillian and I, continued to invest in our friendship with her and her family. On Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018 we received an email from her reading;
“I started going to a mom’s group on Tuesday nights at my church. I take it one day at a time, but I think it’s a good thing and it’s ‘me’ time. Last Saturday all of us helped with a Buy Nothing event at the church. People in the community brought in things to donate; from clothes to food, to coats and boots, and anyone could come and take what they needed. I think the best part is my church hosting South Oakland shelter guests for the week and giving them the coats, clothes, shoes, and boots.
I want to thank you for helping and guiding me towards God. I appreciate the weekly devotions and everything you and Jillian do. I’m a slow-moving believer because of my questioning and stubbornness so thankfully God is patient and willing to wait.”
We may no longer work together but our friendship continues because it’s held together by Jesus. We planted, her church watered, and God grew and continues to grow her faith in Him. Jillian and I recently received a text from her telling us that she is now a member of her local church and is working to deepen her relationship with Jesus.
To love our colleagues beyond the task and to serve our colleagues beyond the 9-5. These two values today are my core values at the workplace. Acting with a sincere heart toward those we work with will allow for genuine friendships to form. When we integrate love and service, we merge our lives together and share the hope of Jesus.