Early in my time in Romania – pre-GEM and pre-knowing Romanian – I went to the piața to buy potatoes.
I had to go to the piața because there was only one grocery store in town, and they had no potatoes.
The piața intimidated me because the vendors shouted as I walked by, and I understood almost nothing of what they said. On that day I found the potato stalls and I managed to ask for a kilo of potatoes.
The vendor had an empty container, and I began to put lovely potatoes into it. He added a rotten potato. I took out the rotten potato. He added three rotten potatoes.
We both shouted at the same time, “I’m not buying your potatoes!” and “I’m not selling you my potatoes!” I stomped off, potato-less.
The next morning was lovely and fair. I walked in the hills with a friend. Then I sat down for a feast of intimacy with God. Almost immediately, I heard in my spirit, “Go apologize to the potato man.” I replied with a groan, “Okay. I’ll make breakfast and then go.” I heard, “Go now!”
I pulled out my Romanian dictionary and composed an apology. With much trepidation, I dragged myself to the piața. I stood before the potato man’s stall and read my apology. The man in front of me said, “He’s sick today but the whole piața knows what happened yesterday.” He agreed to take my paper and give it to the rightful man. I retreated, deeply relieved to have finished my task.
As I was crossing the main street, I felt a holy, joyful presence surround me.
The day before, I made a reputation at the piața. That day, Jesus redeemed my reputation – not as a perfect person, but as one who seeks forgiveness because I am God’s child.
I think this is how Jesus shepherds us – His flock – and what it means to walk with Him.
However, for me to hear His voice, the noise must stop. Even the worship music needs to be paused. Just me, silence, the Bible. Well, a cup of coffee helps also…