I have a good friend...his name is Jonas...and it was by the providence of God that we met almost a year ago.
Here's the story:
I was walking out of the lobby of the Marriot Hotel (on the Magnificent Mile--Michigan Avenue) last Spring. These two young guys were looking at a map, and looking very, very lost. I offered to help them find their way to wherever they were going. This was about 3 p.m.
One of those guys was my now-friend Jonas. So instead of just giving them directions to where they needed to go, I offered to show them a thing or two here in the Windy City, since neither of the guys had ever been to Chicago before.
They took me up on my offer. We had a grand time for the next 5 hours. That was the beginning of a very special friendship with this 19-year old Real Estate agent--Jonas.
We've stayed in touch ever since that time. He was living in Madison, Wisconsin where he grew up. His parents divorced many years ago, and his dad now lives in the Bay area of northern California. Jonas moved out there last November, to be near his father.
Therein lies part of the heartache that my friend is experiencing. Jonas' mother is a diagnosed, legal schizophrenic--something no 19 year old dude is able to wrap his mind around. From what he has told me, she is very, very controlling and almost destructive when he is around her.
His father--who has been mostly an absentee dad for the better part of his life--is a real "play boy" womanizing just as much as he possibly can fit into a 24-hour period.
This has been a real disappointment to my buddy. Jonas is not a Christian. He has been severely turned off by "organized religion", or so he tells me. But now, he has a tender heart.
Last night we were talking about his relationship with his dad. Jonas moved to the Bay area (at his dad's behest, I might add) so he could be near the man he calls "father." Sadly enough, his dad has paid little to no attention to this gracious and charming male who calls him father. Jonas has been so tremendously disappointed in his biological father, and I can understand that feeling oh so well.
While talking with Jonas, I felt like just bawling. I remember how disappointing my relationship with my own biological father has been--a man with whom I've had no contact for almost 15 years now. I don't even know if my "dad" is dead or alive. And right now, it just isn't an issue for me.
But I learned something a few years ago--you can call it a "prophetic word" in my life. One of the most godly and loving people I know called late one night just to tell me: "Phil, remember your Heavenly Father is nothing like your earthly father. Your Heavenly Father always keeps His eyes on you, and loves you more than you could ever love yourself, or expect anyone else to love you."
In the nick of time last night, I sensed that God wanted me to share that with Jonas. Even though Jonas would never make any pretenses of being a Christian, he did understand what I was doing my best to convey concerning the Heavenly Father.
This 19-year fella needs the Lord. He needs to know that Christ will love him more than anyone else ever could love him. He needs to know that Christ will never forsake him, or go "schizo" on him.
Jonas is my buddy, and I love him dearly. He knows that he can trust me. I just want him to know that he can trust the Saviour whom I love so dearly.
Please pray for Jonas.