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Gaius, The Beloved
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That day I arrived at his bookstore early. It had been a busy morning at home—a wife hurredly getting ready so as to not be late to the daycare where she works everyday, and a teenage daughter asking: “Daddy, have you seen my blue tie? I can’t find it! If I don’t wear it, they’re gonna say that I’m not wearing the uniform—Ahhh!  It’s getting late!!  Daddyyyyyy!!! 

So, I run and help Margarita. I show her “where” she left her tie the day before—hanging on the door of the bathroom! Then, I “fix” my wife a pseudo-lunch and she responds by giving me one of her special looks that move me every time. She gives me a kiss and whispers “Thank you, honey, I love you.”

A loud “Bye, Daddy!” and the slamming of the door, lets me know that my teenage daughter has left for school. Every day is just the same. But, I can’t complain. I’m a modern dad! Our roles change in an instant, all throughout the day. But, I also work outside of the home. What did you think? Of course I do! I’m a DJ and I have a daily one-hour program at one of the local radio stations in town. And I love my job.

Giving Prayer

But that day, I arrived at my friend, Juan’s bookstore, a little earlier than expected. The door was halfway opened, so I could see and hear him talking—to himself. No, I’m wrong. He wasn’t talking to himself. He was praying. I couldn’t help hearing what he was saying: “Lord, send someone to the store that is in financial difficulties, that I may give them a book in order to give back a small portion of what You give me on a daily basis—In Jesus’ name, I ask. Amen.”

I left without making a sound. I didn’t want to interrupt his moment of intimacy with God. As I walked away I thought, that was the most beautiful prayer I have ever heard. It reminded me of a book in the Bible that I had read a couple of years ago. It’s a small book, but with enormous content. It’s 3 John and it speaks of Gaius, the Beloved. Everyone called him that because they admired the kindness that this dedicated elder displayed to everyone.

I have nicknamed my bookstore-owner-friend, Juan, the Kindhearted. I’ve never met anyone like him. My prayer is that we will be worthy of having a nickname like that as well. To not only go through life receiving, but giving—not just material things that will one day disappear, but those things that are ever-lasting: smiles, kindness, joyful moments, friendship, loyalty, fellowship, love. Become true examples worthy of imitating. In other words, become the Gaius, the Beloveds of this era. Wouldn’t that be great?

“Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers, even though they are strangers to you. They have told the church about your love. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God” (3 John 5-6).

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By Alejandro Oscar González Catalán. Copyright © 2009 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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