Friday, October 15, 2010

Divine Delay

I had agreed to help a friend get the vast majority of her belongings sent ahead of her to Wisconsin, where she will move when she is married. We had agreed to start at 10 AM, but changed our plans to 9 AM. Well, the U-Haul truck wasn't ready until 10 AM, and this is why we were early.

Caren was raised Catholic, left it as a teen, got confounded by life, and returned to her roots as she is now finishing up college. Vero handed her some tracts, and we had a pleasant conversation for a while. The man who had the truck we needed had returned, so Caren went out to see when he would finish. Vero then mentioned that she had wanted to ask her about what happens after death. I noted the time and said that we would get the chance to ask.

When she returned, the conversation did not immediately turn to life after death, so I turned it there, since we had only about ten minutes left. I asked her what she would say to God if He should ask her why He should let her in.

She said that she felt that she was a pretty good person, some mistakes, but nothing "morally wrong. Well, I mean..., well, kinda morally wrong..."

"Like what?"

"Um.."

"Have you ever lied?"

"Yes."

"What does that make you?"

"A liar."

"Have you ever stolen something?"

"No. I haven't done that."

"You're not lying to me, are you?"

"No." Then a smile. "No, I don't think I have. Well, maybe...I have never taken anything from a store..."

"When I was a kid, my mom told me I couldn't have some candy: I waited until she wasn't looking, and I took it anyway. So that makes me a thief."

"Yeah, I'm sure I maybe took something that I don't remember."

She had mentioned that she has had a boyfriend who gave her a promise ring four years ago (meaningless article, that thing), so, with Vero sitting there, I felt comfortable asking her, "Have you ever committed fornication?"

She winced. "Yes."

"Have you ever hated someone?"

"Yes."

"Did you know that the Bible says that if you hate someone you are a murderer?"

"No, I didn't know that."

"First John, chapter three, verse fifteen. So, how do you think you will fare before God?"

"I think I'll be okay. I mean, I'm not really bad..."

"You just told me that you are a liar, maybe a thief--and when God roles the tape, there might be something there--a fornicator, and a murderer."

"Well, that's why Jesus died for our sins." Bingo. I let her continue, and then Vero reinforced her answer with an illustration. "What is your hardest subject? [Science.] Say you failed to study for an exam, and you put down all the wrong answers, but you were next to someone who studied well, and put down all the right answers, and then switched tests with you, putting her name atop yours and you putting your name on hers. Then she would get the score that you deserved, but you would get the score that she deserved. That is what Jesus did for us on the cross."

I explained that Jesus didn't stop there: He sent His Holy Spirit to live inside us to help us to walk in righteousness, no longer practicing the things that displease God.

Then Caren asked me a question I have never heard in five years of fervent evangelism. "So what would you say before God? You seemed like you would have nothing to say."

She was right. Usually, though, people would accuse me of being self-righteous, as if I had not admitted to being guilty. I couldn't tell you that I used a different delivery. She just had a humble heart.

I confirmed that I would have nothing to say. I stand in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Period. My righteousness is as filthy rags (I reference Isaiah 64:6). Paul said that those who do what is right, prove that they know what is right, and therefore condemn themselves even more when they do what is wrong (Romans 2). I have no excuses before God. I should go to Hell. But God in His great mercy sent His only begotten Son to take away my sin, and thus the consequence.

I am still amazed by her humility. I am praying for her and her boyfriend, and for the guy and his girlfriend who had been using the truck (they are planning to move to California; I handed him a Gospel tract). Will you please join me?

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