Before you read this story, I'd like to remind you that you that you are in the forum "I trust God to Guide Me." Despite the title of this story, "The Athiest", this is a story designed for this forum. It is an inspirational story about seeing God's hand in my life, through my work. That said., if this type of forum is not for you, please do not read the story. You will not enjoy it. All others, enjoy the read.....
An atheist came to me for therapy. This made me question God's judgment. "God, you have GOT to be kidding me? I teach people to see you in their lives… And you send me an atheist?! What the heck am I going to teach an atheist? I think you made a mistake this time God. I really do." Too funny! I am questioning God.
I question God's choice of me for this task, but ultimately I know I need to trust my gift. Ironically, I will soon realize that God knows exactly what he is doing.
The atheist is a man in his late 60s. He has a huge insurance deductible and he has arthritis. He has to pay cash for medication. The most effective medication for his type of arthritis is very expensive. He's in a lot of pain. So he begins looking at local clinical trials that include this medication, hoping that he can qualify for one of the trials and receive the meds for free.
He applies to a clinical trial that is looking for African American men who have smoked for at least 10 years. This arthritis medication has cured polyps in the colon. They think this medication might also be able to reduce or cure polyps in the lungs of former smokers. The atheist is NOT African American. He wants the drug, so he dupes the researchers over the phone and they give him an face to face interview. When he gets to the interview, they realize he is not African American. They tell him he can't qualify for the study because he is not African American. However, no one has volunteered to participate in the clinical trial. The atheist promises to recruit volunteers for the clinical trial, if they will agree to make him a participant. If the researchers don't get participants, they lose their funding. So they agree to accept him as a participant, and he agrees to get them participants.
The atheist talks to his friends at lunch about needing to find African American participants. One friend refers him to a man. Turns out this man he is referred to is a Baptist minister. The atheist sets an appointment with the Baptist Minister. They will meet this afternoon at the church. My client is scared now. He says to himself, "I'm going to meet a Baptist Minister in a church! I'm an atheist. I can't let him know that I'm an atheist or he will not help me. I want that drug! How am I going to do this?"
The atheist has an interesting hobby. He dumpster dives for old appliances, tinkers with them, refurbishes them and re-sells them. The management at my client's apartment complex changed out the air conditioning units in the entire complex. The atheist was curious as to what they were doing with the old air conditioning units.
He thought, "if they are going to put the units in the dumpster, I'll rescue them tonight, recondition them and sell them to make extra money."
He asks the maintenance man, "What are you going to do with the old units?"
"We're going to store them, in case a unit breaks down. That way we can use it as a temporary unit to tide tenants over if their new unit breaks down."
"Oh, okay. Thanks."
The atheist heads to the church to meet with the minister. The minister is sitting in his office, behind his desk, using the mouse on his computer to search the web for something. The atheist pops his head into the minister's office.
"Hi, we spoke on the phone."
"Yes, Hi. Come on in. I've been waiting for you."
The minister says, "Have a seat. How is your day going?"
"Well, I thought I was going to have a windfall of a day. I dumpster dive for appliances, refurbish them, then I re-sell them. I thought I was going to have a great opportunity tonight, but it didn't pan out."
The Minister chuckles, "You've got to be kidding me…I dumpster dive too. I dive for furniture. The night before the trash collection, I drive through the neighborhoods and look for furniture at the curbs. I take it home, refinish it and re-sell it."
They talk and talk about the great finds they have found and the money they have made. Now the atheist is feeling real comfortable. So he begins telling the Minister why he is there.
"I am recruiting for a medical study. The study is looking for African American participants who are former smokers. They will test the participants and give them free medical care and medication, if they qualify for the study."
"Really, just this weekend I was approached by some indigent members of my congregation. They could probably use this service, as I am sure they do not have medical insurance. How about I talk about the study in this Sunday's services?"
"That would be FANTASTIC!"
The minister asks, "Can I print your name and number in our service bulletin, so that potential participants can contact you if they are interested?"
The atheist writes down his cell phone number and information. All the while, the minister has been multi-tasking, searching the web for something while they talked. The atheist is feeling very comfortable so he leans over the desk and asks "So what are you searching for?"
The minister says, "Well, you know how I told you about the indigent people in my congregation? Well, they came to me this past weekend because it is VERY hot this summer here in Houston and they do not have air conditioning in their apartments. So I'm trying to locate some free air conditioning units for them."
Bingo!!! A lightbulb goes off in the atheist's head.
"I just might be able to help you with that one. Let me see what I can do."
He leaves, goes back to the apartment complex, speaks to the management and tells them about the needy people with no air conditioning. He tells them that if they donate the old, used air conditioners to the church they would be helping these people and they would get a tax write-off. The managers agree to donate all the air conditioners to the church. The atheist coordinates the effort. The people get their air conditioners and in turn they volunteer for the study. The atheist gets his medicine. The researchers don't lose their study funding. I help the atheist see the processes at work in this weird coincidence. The atheist saw God's hand at work in his life. He began to question whether he was an atheist.
My question is this: If God will use an atheist to do his will, then does God care whether you believe in him or not?
Many people believe that by verbally stating that they believe God, that they are a Christian. Yet, in this story, we see someone who hasn't verbally accepted God, is being guided by God to execute God's will.
Which counts more?
Does the talk (aka-I accept God in my life) or the walk (aka-God guides me to execute God's will and I do it) detemine the character of the person?
The atheist in the story didn't want to go to a minister. Yet, he conquered his fears, and by doing so unknowingly trusted God to guide him. As a result, he got what he wanted, because God's will be done.
So we learn from this that if you don't believe in God, that does not mean that God doesn't believes in you. It also does not mean that God will not work through you for good.