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I met Jesus at a conference of Christian managers. But his story is a little out of the ordinary.

The conference was hosted in a beautiful facility in Dallas, Texas, and the organizers had done a fantastic job at putting together a good program. We had great meetings and warm fellowship, and I learned a tremendous amount about good management practices.

But my greatest joy during the conference took place, not in one of the many excellent seminars, but in the hallway of the hotel where we stayed. That’s where I met Jesus.

Jesus came walking down the hallway at the same time that I was praying that I could meet someone who needed to meet, well, Jesus. You see, this Jesus is a custodian in the new, state-of-the-art facility where the convention was being held. When I saw his name tag, I switched into Spanish. We spoke together about Mexico, his native land, and about his family. I prayed silently for a way to share Jesus with Jesus.

I asked Jesus if he went to church. Jesus didn’t go to church. How ironic.  I asked Jesus if he had a Bible. Jesus didn’t have a Bible. How odd.

Jesus’ face lit up when I suggested that I would get him a Bible in Spanish if he desired. He pulled out his driver’s license and gave me his home address so I could mail it to him. He promised me that he would visit one of the churches in his area.

Later that night, as I spoke to Jesus in prayer, He spoke to me about my newfound friend, Jesus. He knew that Jesus needed to have His Word now. So the following day a friend of mine agreed to take me to the store nearby so I might get a Bible for Jesus. We found one and headed back to the hotel. Now came the difficult task of finding Jesus in this huge facility of over 1,500 rooms. I prayed that I might find Jesus.

A concierge for the hotel was in the lobby seeking to assist guests navigate the expansive halls. I asked her, “Do you know Jesus?” She gave me a quizzical look.

Realizing that I had just made her rather uncomfortable, I restated my question. “Do you know the man Jesus who works here and how I might be able to contact him?” She said she did not know him. I told her that I was praying Jesus would walk up while we were talking together. She asked if I knew what department he worked in and what type of clothing he wore. As I tried to recall if he had been wearing a gray outfit or green, Jesus appeared.

The concierge walked away saying, “That was God.”

We greeted each other warmly, and I told Jesus that I had gone to the store to get him a Bible. I presented him with La Santa Biblia, and he was very grateful. There was a co-worker with Jesus, a young woman from Mexico. I invited them to a quiet corner of the lobby so we could pray together.

My Spanish is a little rusty, so I was quite surprised that when we bowed our heads together and I began to pray, both Jesus and his co-worker repeated my words in humble supplication. The tone of the prayer changed, and so did my heart as I realized just how extraordinary my meeting with Jesus was at this conference. Jesus and his friend both asked Jesus to open their hearts, to reveal Himself to them, and to teach them to know Him personally as their Savior. As we parted from one another, I marveled.

Jesus now has a Bible. And Jesus will be going to church, because Jesus met Jesus.

John Baxter writes from Berrien Springs, Michigan.

Jesus Doesn't Go to Church

by John Baxter
From the August 2005 Signs