This is about the kindness shown by a true Christ follower by the name of Flavil Nichols. Today is his 97th birthday! He is the man on the right in the featured image.
He was a big name preacher, but he was also a man whom children loved. When I was five, he greeted me at the church house door as “the little preacher man,” and he made me want to preach. I looked up to him. I almost idolized him. I know, that’s bad. But, I did. When people got sick, he was the one they wanted to do the praying. I knew a man who didn’t really like most preachers, but interrupted a big job just to see this preacher. And he did magic.
He did magic when he walked in a room and people lit up to be around him. He did magic when he took time out for little kids like there was no one else in the world. Let me tell you something. He could make his thumb disappear. Right there at the church building. Right there behind the red velvet pews, in front of a group of three to ten year-olds gathered in amazement.
Maybe I shouldn’t tell you this, because not everyone got to experience it, but this magic man came to my house when I was about five years old. He visited with both of my parents, but after their visit, he took time out with me! A five year old! He talked with me! He smiled at me! And, then he asked my parents if it would be alright if he did magic tricks. I don’t remember all the particulars, but I do know this. He found a fan in me, and when I became a fan of his, I was really becoming a fan of the one who was living in him.
I was in a Bible class recently and someone was asking about why God would expect us to respond to a two thousand year old book. The more I think about it, I’m convinced that while the words on the page are important, it’s when the messengers become the message that the world is changed. This is really a story about encountering the message in a messenger who might have been a great preacher, but was more importantly someone who would take time out for kids.
So, I ask you. Are you seeing the invisible people around you, the ones who might just need you to show them a little magic? Are you smiling at the children and serving the forgotten? Are you pointing them to the Savior, the real Story that’s more than magic?
As this man was to me, so you can be to others. You can point others to someone who was a lot more than a magic man, a lot more than we could ever be. You can point them to Jesus.