Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Vaccum Gospel

God offered me a unique opportunity about a week ago. It ties in with my last blog about being religious or spiritual. I had gotten home from work and was scavenging aound the hosue for dinner when I heard the doorbell. I looked at my wife who sheepishly offered that she had invited the Kirby Vaccum cleaners (they had been working the neighborhood) people in to do a demonstration. Well, I was not thrilled. I wanted to sit down, eat some ham, and then watch some ham on American Idol, Go Blake!!

Anyway, here came two huge boxes in the door carried by a young man named Walter. Walter was a nice young man just trying to do his job. I said ok, "Give me your best sales pitch". I am alway intrested in hearing how others sell their products. At one point I even kidded him by saying I was in sales also. Well, he showed me the Kirby Vaccum cleaners many attachements and utilties. The coolest attachment was a paint sprayer. I kid you not. Reverse the flow of air and it would paint your walls. I also liked the extremely bright halogen light in the front. Toys!!

After talking with him some more I offerd my own sales pitch and began to talk about the Lord. I had asked where he went to church and how his relationship with the Lord was. You have to understand a few things. In Alabama everyone knows Jesus. there is not a sinner to be found. Every wino can sing half the hymnal and most businessmen are "affilitated" with religious causes. Tough area. What made Walter different was the fact that he was an African American and Catholic. It's rare to find a Catholic in Alabama, even rareer to find a African American Catholic. The Lord does have a sense of humor. If you don't know I was raised Catholic all the way through my Confirmation process and then started going to a protestant youth group. Walter and I had a few things in common. Walter offered the fact that he was good with the Lord but had not been to church in a while. Here's where I could have choses the religious route. I could have spent the rest of the night giving reasons why Walter should go to my church or disuade him to leave his church as some might, but I felt that would have been misspent time. Instead I wanted to serve Walter and allow him to have an encounter with Jesus.

Walter eagerly pointed out through demonstraton that my floors needed cleaning. With his special demo model he showed me the filter pads that picked up the dirt and dust. He began laying the round pads out on the floor in straight, narrow rows. It was about 8:30 now and I wanted to help this guy. I wasn't going to buy a vaccum cleaner but I wanted him to get paid. I asked, "Walter, how many of these pads do you have to show your boss to get paid?" He said, "100". My jaw hit the floor. 100!!? This will take forever for him to dirty up 100 of these pads not matter how dirty my house is. I quickly volunteered myself. I took about 25-30 pads from Walter qand went all over my house rubbing them on my floor, under my kitchen table, my bathroom, even the fireplace. Eventually we aquired 100 pads. We had a few moments until Walter's boss came in so I invited my new friend Walter to eat and drink with us.

Walter's boss eventually came by to "seal the deal". To his dismay I turned his slick, finely tuned pitch down. We also got to talk about the Lord while Walter sat quietly by eating ham and drinking Milo's sweet tea. Finally the slick boss man thanked us for our time and excused himself and Walter and I are together again. The sweetest moment came when I offered to pray for Walter.I prayed for his business and for his family and that he would get back to church, his church. He told me he was going to get back and talk with his priest that week. What a blessing.


No comments: