Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Standing at the door

She stood at our door, rubbing the head of our big dog with one hand and holding a suspicious bag in the other. Sure enough, another waited in the car for her.

"I think a Jehovah's Witness is here," my son announced.

And so I went to the door, dreading the blank-itis that generally strikes when I want stand firm. Her opening was different than I'd heard before: "Have you noticed how many people don't use the Bible anymore?"

Well, I agreed with that. "They do miss out. I think the Bible is God's communication to us and it's a treasure."

She immediately opened to 1 Tim 3:16 to read me about how God's Word was a benefit to believers. Then she launched into stage 2, pulling out her literature and fanning open the pages to show me key articles. I prayed desperately, wanting to respond with intelligence and yet grace. I was better at blurting than building up.

When the pause came, I smiled at her. "I'm a Christian and I think we disagree about Jesus. "

"Oh, he's our savior!" she responded.

"I believe he's God."

She nodded. "We believe he is a god, to be honored."

"I believe he is God, who became a man so that he could stand in my place and take my death. I am saved by grace."

"I have a question for you," she said. I noticed that she slipped the literature back into her bag. "Some Christians tell me that once saved, always saved. That they can do anything they want because they're saved. I don't understand that."

"Some might say they weren't ever saved," I said. "When we believe, Jesus comes into our hearts and changes us. Because we are transformed, that will affect our actions. Our actions don't transform our heart but our heart transforms our actions."

"It's actions that matter, not words," she said. Then she smiled broadly and shook my hand. "You have a wonderful day."

My kids were standing close by, curious to hear how I'd deal with this visitor to my door. But I had a chance to tell them what I can tell you: God worked. He gave me a compassion for the woman at the door and words to say. I'm praying that there was a nugget in our conversation that will comfort and challenge her. But this was God's moment and he was amazing.

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