Thursday, November 8, 2007

The path of truth

The conversation, like the midday sun, was as warm and sunny while we stood outside my front door chatting. She had brought a Bible and a pamphlet, wondering if I'd like to read articles about how the Bible was true and the foundation for our lives.

I told her that I read the Bible daily and depended on it for life. "But I think we're on different spiritual walks," I said. "I believe Jesus is my savior and that he is God. I don't think you do."

She gently shook her head. She put the pamphlet away as I said, "I love Jesus and I don't think your booklet would do me much good."

"I am so glad you read the Bible," she said. "I know many don't and I don't know how they get along."

So for another five minutes, a follower of Jesus and a Jehovah's Witness discussed the value of God in a cold and dark world. We agreed that a life denying God is an empty, purposeless existence.

As she drove away, I thought of plenty more to say. I would have asked her how I could pray for her. I would have asked how her relationship with God strengthened her and where she found comfort in the Bible during those frightening night hours. I would have asked her how her spiritual choices had changed her life. And eventually I would have asked how she found salvation without Jesus.

Once I was afraid to have a Jehovah's Witness at my door, for fear they'd stump me. Actually, for fear they knew more about the Bible than I did. In my next stage, I thought I had to win the debate with them. After that, I was sure I was to convert them in one quick conversation.

But that day, as two women enjoyed the warm fall sunshine and discussed the value of God's Word, what I wanted to do was love her and hear her heart. She was a person, not an icon for a religious philosophy.

Jesus sat in mid-day at a well and chatted about religious ideas with a Samaritan woman. He wasn't afraid of her misinterpretation of the law. He showed her kindness and a path to truth.

These days, that's what I'd like to do when a Jehovah's Witness stops by. Love, listen, and show them truth.


Angela @ Refresh My Soul Blog said...

Amen! I completely agree.
Much love,

The Small Scribbler said...

I like how the questions you would have asked take the debate out of the conversation (my religion against yours so to speak) and bring it to such a personal level. This post is perfect for the holidays. I will be spending Thanksgiving with dozens of relatives and you have given me a way to address the issue of faith in a caring way if/when the topic comes up.


Stephanie (Ocean Mommy) said...

This was such a good reminder to me. Just 2 weekends ago I was working in my flower beds out front. I was approached by a group of Jehovah Witnesses. There were several of them and one of me! I felt so attacked when I looked up and saw them all standing there!! God quickly calmed my nerves and I tried to speak in love. They didn't stay long, and seemed almost confused when they left.

This was a good reminder to see those who don't really know Jesus the way HE sees them. To treat them the way HE would treat them. How in the world can we expect them to want to know Him when we act so cruel!!

Thanks for this word.