Neighbor Teased This Single Mother When A Young Pastor Visited Her For An Invitation.
Story by Lynelle Dawson
“Lord, please bring me a decent, honest, Christian man,” I prayed before falling into an exhausted sleep one Spring day for an afternoon nap.
My plea came from the lips of a woman weary of lies from those who claimed to love her. Though I’d not been to church in years, I’d been contemplating returning as I wanted my daughter, Kallie, still a toddler, to have a strong basis of Christianity and love for God in her life.
Upon waking, I thought no more of the prayer. Kallie had woken from her nap also and so we went outside to play and enjoy the fresh air for a couple of hours before dinner.
While outside, our dog began to bark at a man walking across the church parking lot that was disconnected from our yard by only our back fence. While I told Beau to be quiet, I watched as the man stopped in his tracks for a moment. Almost as if making a decision within himself, he turned, and came walking back to our fence.
“Hi, my name is Curt Denton. I’m the youth pastor here and I’d like to invite you both to church,” he says.
Taken aback in my rather casual “around-the-house” garb, trying to keep Beau from barking his fool head off, attempting to reassure Kallie about this strange man standing at our back fence, and while still trying to carry on a reasonably polite conversation, I was at a momentary awkward loss for words.
“Actually I’ve been wanting to go,” I hesitated, “But, my daughter has never been left with strangers and I really didn’t know if I could take her into the service with me or if I could stay with her in the nursery until she became comfortable?” The words of explanation came pouring out.
He was very reassuring and told me that whichever decision I felt comfortable with would be perfectly acceptable to everyone.
My relief was evident as I thanked him for taking a few minutes to explain things about the church such as how it was setup and the times of the services.
“We’ll definitely come for a visit. Thank you so much for inviting us,” I told him.
I meant it too.
The prayer had been forgotten.
Next my neighbor had to tease me about how he and his wife had lived there for four years and had never been invited to go to church there.
“Perhaps I should go outside in a little sundress and I’d get invited,” he quipped. I laughed an embarrassed laugh as I HAD been quite uncomfortable speaking to this man in clothing that I normally would not go out in public in!
As I spoke with his wife and told her about what had happened, including how nice the man was that invited us, I suddenly remembered the prayer in awe.
Next Sunday I got Kallie up and told her we were going to church. Of course, she had no clue what I was talking about but she soon found out.
As it turned out, Mr. Denton was married, but that was fine as he was not the reason I was finally returning to church after over a decade of non-church membership. I was making my return to church for myself, and for Kallie.
Still I remember the prayer and somehow feel that somewhere in this whole experience, I will find the decent Christian man I am seeking. I have just decided to trust God and continue on with helping Kallie grow into a wonderful young toddler with a deep and abiding love for our Creator.
Recently someone stepped into my life from out of the clear blue sky. In one of his initial emails he wrote, “I’m spiritual on many levels, with Christianity as my base.”
Intrigued, we began an email conversation that shortly thereafter became long telephone conversations and is now resulting in our first date.
He turned out to be an attorney with a long and impressive list of credentials that almost overwhelmed me, including former assistant district attorney and former state assistant attorney general.
More importantly, I am discovering a man whom impressive titles only partially tell the story of the goodness and kindness within. A man whom spent his career protecting “at risk” populations such as children, elderly, and the developmentally disabled at great personal sacrifice because he believed in the cause.
Even more exciting, he is a Christian and would like to attend church with us!
Though the ending to this story is still as yet unknown, I am constantly amazed when I am reminded of the old adage, “Never underestimate the power of prayer.”