His name is Jon. Just Jon.
He is Jon No-Last-Name, S.M. joked as we left church. The lanky young man with the shaved head, pale skin, and haunted eyes sat in the back row. He wore something that looked like it needed washing. Dark bags beneath his eyes told me a much more serious story. Part of a tattoo peeked out from beneath his right sleeve. He had an earring in his right lobe.
He’s so young and laughs a lot to your serious questions. Sometimes, he even refers to himself in the third person.
It’s not that he isn’t friendly.
He’s frustratingly opaque while smiling at you and shaking your hand.
I could get more information from my tea mug than this person.
He’s in church for some reason, even if he ran off as soon as the last praise song ended. April said he’s new to town and works at the hardware store. Jessica’s husband told Jessica that Jon lives in a studio apartment in the more run-down portion of town. Sometimes, he smells like nicotine, he said. Apparently, Jessica’s husband picks him up occasionally to drive him to work.
Now smoking is not unbiblical, but the only people I have ever seen smoke are people with lots of problems, inner issues, or chaotic lives.
God puts people in our lives for a reason. I feel that familiar nudge.
Pray for him, I sense God saying. Overlook his strangeness and pray for him.
Jesus came to save the world, not just a certain class of people who dress alike.
But for some reason I am thinking of the verses in Luke 15 of the Prodigal Son. I can’t shake it so it’s not merely emotion or judging someone on appearance. Something moves me deeply to care for Just Jon.
God’s not done with him yet.