Heartbroken for Co-worker

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FenceMan

Guest
#1
I have worked at my current job for almost a year. When I arrived, I was introduced to a guy (Jon) who would end up being my trainer. Eventually, I would take over his job so that he could move on to a different position in the same company. But our positions still kept us working side-by-side lots of times and he would frequently help me with my work when I was having a hard time keeping up. We have had many deep conversations over the course of time.

A bit about his history: He grew up in a rough city, but attended various churches (and Jehovah Witness') until the age of 19 and apparently hoped that it would help him get out of his gangster activities. But he ended up becoming disillusioned and hurt by some "bad apples" and ultimately left the Church for good and joined his gang full-time. He got involved in brawls and gang fights and then was put behind bars. Finally he was released on parole and decided to leave his gang for the sake of his son, because he didn't want his son to follow in his footsteps. He got various jobs while on parole, finally ending up at the company where he became my trainer.

This company is Christian-owned, yet not everyone there is a Christian, of course. During his time with this company, he has often told me that he feels like many have a demeaning attitude toward him which he believes is because of his race. This includes the Christian owners. I have observed this myself from time to time, and it is concerning. Yet, I suspect it is also linked to his sometimes poor work ethics - missing days without warning, getting angry easily, etc.

At one point, he quit for another job. But after a month he reapplied and was given his old job again. The owners of this company, despite maybe seeming demeaning at time, have given him so many chances that I'm actually a bit amazed that they have held on to him this long.

Anyway, things seemed to be good and he was happy to be back. Then, all of a sudden, he got disillusioned with his work again and felt like he was being treated unfairly again.

I sensed he would be quitting again soon, so I decided now was the time to have a more intentional spiritual conversation. We talked about his church experience and then we began to talk about what is sin and is everyone really sinful. Unfortunately, my Christian boss interrupted that conversation and gave him work somewhere else... :(

Today, I overheard another co-worker invite him to his church. The two of them like each other, so I was hopeful maybe he'd accept.

However, later today I realized he had been grinning weirdly for a few hours and it finally struck me that something was off... I finally asked him why he was so happy and he replied "I love surprises!" He continued grinning and wouldn't tell me why, simply saying "You'll find out eventually". We had just been talking about the church shooting in Texas a few hours earlier, so I was beginning to feel extremely creepy... I honestly wasn't sure if I should run out the back door or call the police...

I asked him if he was angry at me and pretending to be happy to cover it up, and he replied that I was close, but it wasn't me he was angry at. It was everyone but me.

Finally, I managed to get him to tell me that today is his last day of work and it sounded like he basically wants to go back to his gang - no concern for his son anymore, I guess... :( He plans on just arriving at work tomorrow to pick up his last paycheck. Leaving everyone hanging when this is a very busy time of the year is his "revenge" on everyone for all the hateful attitudes he apparently has received. And yet... I'm the one whose job it will affect the most...

Overall, I just feel heartbroken. The company has given him so many chances and many of us have gone out of our way to be kind to him and a friend to him. And yet, now it sounds like he's literally going back to the gang life he has tried so hard to break away from!

I was driving home from work tonight, and finally broke down weeping over it all. I sat in my car for probably a half hour...

I tried so hard to be a godly witness, and he noticed and knew something was different about me. But it feels like it was all for nothing. Today he asked me what cave I came out of - like the only reason for my relative purity was because I kept myself isolated from the world. I never got to fully explain the Gospel... :(

I'm sorry this is so long. Please pray for Jon and also for myself as my workload will increase a ton now. Also, please pray for the protection of everyone at my workplace as their seems to be something unbalanced mentally all of a sudden... I suspect drugs, but I have no evidence.
 

CherieR

Senior Member
May 6, 2017
563
23
18
#2
You may have not gotten to fully share with him the gospel, but you did get to show him the love of Christ. There is no need to apologize for a long post. You are sharing your heart and that is a good thing. Pour out your heart before God also and give him all your cares because he cares for you. The workload will rough but I believe God will give you grace for it. Get plenty of rest and take care of yourself. I will pray for you, Jon, and the people you work with.
 

littlestarsmum

Senior Member
Oct 19, 2016
583
29
28
#3
Thanks for sharing, friend. You don’t need to be hard on yourself. You’ve done a great job by being a good Christian and friend to Jon. I can understand your concern about his situation. You see, your part is to be faithful to the Lord and in your friendship. You’ve spoken the truth in love and your actions are a good example for your friend. I just said a prayer for Jon, asking the Lord to draw him closer to Himself and to guide him in His ways. Be assured of my prayer for you, as well. He cares more deeply than we can imagine and is faithful to respond according to His perfect will. I know it’s not easy right now, but stay strong. Blessings to you!
 

levi85

Senior Member
Jul 2, 2013
5,956
196
63
#4
Lord please bless this prayer request. In Jesus Holy name, Amen!
 
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FenceMan

Guest
#5
Thank you all greatly for your prayers! I do believe God isn't finished with him, but I'm sad to see him reverting to his old ways again which have already caused him so much trouble. He has so much potential...
 

tourist

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2014
22,481
1,096
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#6
In the course of my working life I have seen many come and go for various reasons. It's best to not get to attached to anyone unless you have known the person for a period of years. I will pray that the transition goes smoothly for you at work. I appreciate that you tried hard to be a witness for God but please know that the Word of God is never returned void. There will always be someone that benefits from any witness they observe or have played a part in. You may also want to consider applying for other jobs. It might be time to move on and forward.
 
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FenceMan

Guest
#7
As a Christian, I find it hard not to get at least a little attached to people I work with. How can I minister without loving them? It's the people who don't get attached at all who end up hurting people like my co-worker because he knows they profess to be Christians yet they keep him at arms-length when he's having problems...

A Christian shouldn't tear themselves apart for someone else' wandering, yet I see nothing in the Bible about shedding tears or suffering heartbreak for the lost being a bad thing. Did Jesus get attached to people who would betray Him? Yes! Look up Luke 19:41.

Regardless, thank you for your prayers. I will pray about moving on. Perhaps God has used me in the way he wanted to here, and He has a new place for me to serve.
 
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kittycat7

Senior Member
Dec 17, 2011
1,250
28
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#8
[FONT=&quot]If you refuse to learn from your mistakes, you will be poor, and no one will respect you. If you listen when you are criticized, you will be honored. — Proverbs 13:18[/FONT]
 
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FenceMan

Guest
#10
If you refuse to learn from your mistakes, you will be poor, and no one will respect you. If you listen when you are criticized, you will be honored. — Proverbs 13:18
It's true, but I hate to see it happen. I know a person's decision are their own and they must accept the consequences. My co-worker often refused help for that very reason, so that no one else would be drawn into his problems. He knows there's something wrong with his decisions, but he is unable to fix himself, which to me indicates he's really not so far away from understanding the Gospel after all.