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Standing In Line

By Joanna Pharazyn

I passed! Praise God, I thought to myself, I finally passed my driver’s exam in Portugal. Then the examiner informed me that I had to go to the transportation office, yet again, and get my photo taken. I thought this was strange, as they had already taken my photo once before, but he assured me that there was no photo in his files. 

I awoke early the next morning and took the metro downtown. Even though I arrived one and a half hours before the office opened, there was already a long line of people waiting. It was a cold morning and I found myself dancing in place, just to keep warm. 

While I waited, a conversation was struck up between myself and an elderly Vietnamese man beside me. One thing led to another, and he started to explain his belief system and his experience with the church here in Portugal. For him, it was about just being a good person, and death was the end. Out of love I shared the Gospel with him, and encouraged him to see for himself if the Jesus of the Bible was truly God.

The doors finally opened, and the line started moving. By this point my bones were aching from the cold and I desperately wanted to get inside. The Vietnamese man mentioned my difficulty with the cold to the Portuguese man in front of him, and this provoked yet another conversation. 

The Portuguese man told me that he been brought up in the Catholic church, but had never experienced the intimate love of God. I told him that the love and presence of Jesus had changed my life, and encouraged him to see for himself, and to ask Jesus to speak to him. Amazed, the man responded that, indeed, he had nothing to lose. 

I finally got to the front of the line. The clerk entered my information and then told me, dismissively, that there was already a photo of me in the system. Chilled to the bone, I began to walk away in frustration. Then it hit me - God sent me to stand in a line that I did not even need to be in, just so that two of his children would hear about him. Oh Father, how incredible is your love!