Share Your Story
It is always encouraging to hear how God is at work in the lives of ordinary people. It gives us hope for what He wants to do in our lives and the lives of our friends. When we share how we see God at work in our own circumstances, it can give others ideas to continue being “Jesus-with-skin-on” in the lives of those we love. Please feel free to share your stories of seeing God at work in your life.
Stories From Participants
Recently, we had a leak from an upstairs bathroom, and hired a handyman to fix it for us. Bill (not his real name) has done excellent work for us before, so we wanted to give him the business again. Besides, he happens to be on my Top Ten list of people to pray for and witness to, so I jumped at the chance to be around him again. Bill lives out of town, so we don’t see him very often, which adds to the challenge of building a relationship with him. So we invited him to live with us while working on the repair, which has turned out to be a blessing for all of us!
Bill has had a very challenging life, admittedly making several bad decisions, some of which subsequently sent him to prison for 2 years. We knew he had come out very bitter, and was especially distrustful of Christians. He had told us that the most hypocritical inmates of all were the bible thumping Christians, who went to church, preached love, but then stirred the pot, pitting one inmate against another, and causing the most trouble of all the men behind bars!
Our one leak turned out to be three, which subsequently caused us to have to gut and replace the entire bathroom, tear out the kitchen ceiling, and redo much of the kitchen.
I have a picture in my bedroom that had caught Bill’s eye. It is a simple picture of Christ hugging a lamb, with love and acceptance radiating from Christ’s face.
One morning Bill mentioned the picture because he said he had never ever imagined Christ in that way. He always had pictured Christ, or God, as being filled with wrath, and one who punishes “bad” people. He, of course, considers himself “VERY BAD” because of all the bad choices he had made in his life. He never had known that Christ would be warm, tender and loving. The thought of that really blew his mind.
Bill’s intrigue of the picture started a discussion of the story of the lost sheep. We read him the story (which he had never heard), and that has lead to many discussions about Christianity, including God’s love, sin, and forgiveness.
Bill admits that he’s very confused about what it means to be a Christian. For instance, we shared with him the fact that there are no levels of sin. Gossip is as bad as murder, a concept he has trouble getting his head around. Over the weeks of repair work, we have had several conversations, but we never wanted to bombard Bill, or pressure him to accept Christ. It’s always been about building a trusting friendship, and witnessing through our daily lives.
It’s been a privilege to have had this opportunity to spend time with Bill, and to just continue to love him. I hope to be able to report back at some point that Bill will be with us in heaven some day!