by Reid, a business owner in Asia
One of the great things about owning a business is that you really get to be a part of your employees’ lives. The flip side, however, is you really get to be a part of your employees’ lives.
Like when the disturbed people in your employees’ lives come to your workplace uninvited.
One of our company employees is Jenny. Newly divorced from her abusive husband, Jason, she often received angry death threats from him by phone. When she stopped taking his calls at home, he started calling her at work. And out of all the phones in our building, Jason had the number to just one. Care to guess which one? That’s right. The one that rings at my desk. When I took Jason’s calls, I received similar threats.
The two of us had the best possible conversation one can have with another — when one of the people is occasionally pausing to shout about how he is going to kill someone and their mother.
Jenny felt terrible that her ex kept calling the company. Even though all 90 pounds of her is tough as nails, she offered to quit her job for my sake. With a friend’s testimony about the power of praying for unbelievers still fresh in my mind, I determined not to let Jenny walk out. I offered to pray with her in my office. Then, for the first time, I saw her respond positively to a spiritual prompt. She quickly accepted, even cracking a slight, rare smile at the offer and again after the amen.
A few hours later, Jason showed up. I told Jenny to stay put, called the police, grabbed a mini wooden baseball bat and headed downstairs, ready to do my best impersonation of a tough guy.
Seeing Jason, I immediately dropped the tough guy persona. Between the painful gout in his feet and his alcohol level, the guy could barely walk. I escorted him outside where we sat down to talk. The two of us had the best possible conversation one person can have with another… when one of the people is occasionally pausing to shout at the windows above about how he is going to kill someone and their mother.
I spoke to Jason about where meaning in life can come from, and that his response to the divorce was destroying him and no one else. I talked about God as a foundation in life. I underscored my only motivation was real concern for him. Jason continued complaining about life, money, and marriage. After a bit, he ran out of steam and stopped shouting at the windows. Then Jason confessed he didn’t want to kill Jenny or even hurt her. He just wanted to scare her a bit.
The police showed up eventually. After they took Jason’s statement, I put him in a taxi, told him God loved him, and repeated the importance of making the proper management of his own life properly his first priority.
Apparently, between the baseball bat, the prayer, and firm words to Jason that communicated caring, something clicked. The next day, Jason called me.
I worried about a repeat of the day before. Instead, he apologized! Jason thanked me for “all that stuff about God.” Knowing Jenny wouldn’t take his call, Jason asked me to pass along his apology to her along with his promise to leave her alone.
When I told Jenny all that and shared Jason’s promise not going to bother her anymore, it seemed like a weight lifted off her and she grinned widely. Then she quickly covered her smile with her hand in case I had seen it too.
Please pray for Jenny, that she would soften her heart toward God through this experience, and that follow-up conversations will be possible. Pray also for Jason, that the words spoken to him will ring in his mind, and he will find people in his life who can speak to him about God. ●