El Cerrito, CA. A good analogy goes a long way. The Berkeley, California team met a man named Daniel at the El Cerrito Plaza. It was after having spoken to another man who told them of his long spiritual quest.
Daniel gave the evangelists his story. He was disowned by his family for leaving the Catholic faith. He had attended a large fellowship meeting of some sort where he encountered Christ in a very personal way. His family scorned him for this, he said, because it was not Catholic. He then went on to share the struggles he has had since his wife had passed away leaving him with his 7 year old daughter (now 11). He had moved up north to live with more supportive family members, he said, had struggled with alcoholism, but had been clean and sober for 1 year, and had a job. Since moving, he said, he had not found a new Church, so an evangelist recommended St. Jerome Catholic Church to him.
The evangelist continued by telling Daniel that his experience with the fellowship was surely very genuine and that the church would not deny this. Daniel’s family, he said, on the other hand, did not seem to have the wherewithal to recognize this, though they were correct in believing that the Catholic Church is where he should be. Then the evangelist used an analogy to illustrate the difference between Catholic and non-Catholic Christianity: “Imagine that you are a builder and that you are being asked by two different people to build a deck in their back yard. Both people are going to provide the tools, but one is going to provide you a hammer, a hand saw, a level and some nails, and that’s it. The other is going to provide you with a nail gun a table saw nails and a bunch of other equipment. Now in both cases, you are going to get the job done, one is going to be easier than the other. The Catholic Church just gives you more tools.” He really liked this explanation, having been a builder himself.
Daniel was asked if there was anything he would like prayer for. He said that he and his daughter would like to have their own home. He took a rosary and a “How to Pray the Rosary” pamphlet before he went on his way. Please offer prayers for this man, as he builds the “backyard deck” of life, and especially that he will make use of all best “tools” which the Lord wants to give him for this project.
Thank you, Berkeley, California team! Keep it up! Let’s all join the efforts of helping everyone know Christ, and make us of all the “tools” of life in Him!