The Stunt Man
A Hungarian stunt man left his movie set and while walking through the city he came upon Széll Kálmán tér, the busiest square in Budapest. Wearing dark sunglasses and standing at a distance, he watched a group of Americans dance, laugh, and then proceed to do a thought-provoking drama.
My heart was drawn to Istvan as he not only watched, but considered what was going on. Istvan removed his sunglasses, and I could see in his eyes that the Lord was speaking to him and softening his heart. I felt the drama couldn’t end quickly enough, and as I approached Istvan I prayed that God would move powerfully.
Our conversation was the only one I had during our outreach that afternoon. For over two hours Istvan and I spoke about our pasts, the loves that we had, struggles we deal with, his hopes for the future, certain victories, some defeats, and how Jesus desires to be by our side in all of it. We didn’t just speak about our personal theologies…….for a few brief hours we lived life together! Hours felt like minutes as Istvan shared with me how he had just finished work as a stunt man on the new American movie filmed in Budapest, Die Hard Five. I asked if any of the stunts were very dangerous and he said, “Sure they can be dangerous, but it’s what I’m passionate about. “ I proceeded to tell Istvan that the passion he has for doing stunts is nothing compared to the passion Jesus has for him. God’s message of redemption was hitting him hard. He has been “hit hard” countless times as a stunt man, but this was different. His heart was being pierced, contemplating the message of God’s unconditional love.
As the outreach ended I invited Istvan to dinner. He stated he would love to go and we visited over some much-enjoyed Hungarian goulash. We had a diverse team - from Valley Creek Church in Texas and local Hungarians believers. All of us encouraged Istvan that night. He was profoundly impacted and after dinner he looked at me with a very serious expression and said, “I’ve watched the way your team behaves and I see a happiness that makes me envious.” I explained to Istvan that the happiness that he saw was not us….it was Jesus living in us!
By the end of the evening Istvan did not say that Jesus was the only way to eternal life; He is still thinking things over, but he and I continue to be in communication. I believe he is very close to giving his life to Jesus. As we parted I told my new friend that a decision to live with Jesus was the most important choice he would ever make. Istvan then looked at me and stated, “Matt, this was the best day of the year for me. Thanks.”