As I was reflecting on the years of life that happened around our table, it brought many great memories to mind that made me smile. One memory in particular was when my husband Dave and I were sitting around our table with some friends, and we were discussing that we wanted to do something different for Thanksgiving. We asked God what that something was. My husband Dave said, “let’s invite truckers from the truck stop to our home for a Thanksgiving feast.” I was excited and slightly apprehensive. Do I want complete strangers in my home?
My husband Dave is a truck driver. We are a trucker family that understands what it is like to be separated weeks at a time and the sacrifices that go along with this type of job. There are long lonely days away from home, and many truckers are not home for the holidays. Their loads are scheduled and must be delivered in a timely matter.
We prayed, planned, and prepared for this day to arrive. Dave and our friend Alan went to the truck stop and began inviting truckers to our home for Thanksgiving. Five truck drivers said “yes” to our invitation, although they were reluctant. We knew these five were asked, yes, by us…but we knew they were the Lord’s guests, and we treated them as such. Besides, who would invite complete strangers into their home for dinner?
As they arrived, they entered into our house filled with the aroma of turkey and spices of apple and pumpkin pie baking in the oven. They sat down, relaxed, and settled in, commenting that they felt they were sitting at a banquet table and were glad they accepted our invitation.
Greg had told Dave at the truck stop, that he was leery about this invitation. Saying, he would come if he could drive his truck into our neighborhood, having a plan to get out in case he encountered some crazy people (his words). That way he could get out quickly if he needed to escape the madness. We all laughed at his honesty.
We sat around our beautiful festive table, and one by one they shared their stories. John was going through a divorce and loved his wife dearly and was heartbroken. Tears filled his eyes as he shared with us that he didn’t want a divorce. Steve talked about his past prison life and had been a heroin addict but was clean for almost two years. Then there was Greg who admitted he was angry with God, people, and life in general and he didn’t care for Christians. Julie and Sarah were team drivers and were both very sweet. They had kids at home and missed them very much, but both needed to make a living. Each of them had family issues, hurts, and insecurities. What each of them had shared with us was heartbreaking!
As we finished up dessert, Steve brought his guitar along and wanted to bless us by singing a song he wrote while in prison about the “saving grace of Jesus.” He sang it with all of his heart. Next Julie, had grabbed a gospel CD she had in her truck with the intention to thank us for inviting her for dinner. She said it wasn’t much, but we knew she was giving us what she had…it was a gift from her heart! And we joyfully received it. John was grateful that we would invite him, a total stranger into our home for a meal. As tears welled up in his eyes, he thanked us and believed that God cared for him and knew just what he needed! Greg was cold and suspicious, but during that day his countenance had softened, and he expressed we weren’t crazy after all...we were not at all like the Christians he had met!
That day there were many conversations, prayers, tears, and laughter as well as encouraging words that gave hope and released the love and presence of Jesus. We laughed as Julie told us she thought we were going to provide her with a sermon before we could eat, as she had experienced at some of the shelters she had stayed at in the past. She said, “I was ok with that, but you never did that, I felt that your kindness, love and inviting us to dinner was the Bible in action. What you did for us was genuine.” As we said our goodbyes and exchanged hugs, we all agreed it would be a Thanksgiving none of us would ever forget, and we knew that the Holy Spirit dined with us at the table that day!
Matthew 25:35 says, “For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.” These truck drivers were spiritually dry, we fed them fresh bread from the Word of God, and they drank living water from the river of life-Jesus. It was nourishment from heaven, for their souls.
A simple conversation to do something different made an impact on us and those five truckers that day.
What can you do to make an impact in someone’s life?
I challenge you to ask the Holy Spirit how you can touch a stranger’s life, and when He gives you His instruction act on it! You will be amazed and blessed to see what He will do if you let Him.
Please share with Stevie if you took the challenge and what the outcome was. We would love to hear from you!