A couple of years ago, I wrote in the newsletter about the elderly man who was making a key for me at the store. He mentioned that he was getting old and then added, “I guess it beats the alternative.” At that moment I knew I needed to say something. I gave it some thought and then replied, “Well, maybe. It depends if you know you’re going to heaven or not.” I went on to witness to him. (Turns out he was an old discouraged pastor!)
When I get my hair cut, I try hard to be able to say something about the Lord. I squirm and fight with myself on the inside, but I watch for just the right spot to say something. Sometimes the stylist is non- talkative. Today, the girl was very pleasant. I knew I had to say something. Often I tell about how and why I moved to Belvidere which includes telling of Ken’s death and his “going to be with Jesus” because he knew Jesus as his Savior. Today, I told a little about the nursing home ministry. She asked, “Oh, what do you do there?” I told her the whole thing!
Then she said, “Do you hear the music? It’s K-Love.” She went on to tell me that her son is going to be a pastor. Someone witnessed to him. He found a solid church. He witnessed to his mom. She got saved. Now she wonders how she could have been praying to all the saints her whole life instead of talking to God. I was so glad I brought it up!
Later, as I was making a decision about a significant purchase, I knew I had to say something to that clerk. I told him, “I actually prayed about this decision this morning.” “I guess that’s always a good thing to do,” he replied. As I paid him, I saw that a tract was stuck in my wallet.
“Here is something for you,” I said. He looked at the title about having peace and said, “Wow! Thank you!”
It will never come up if we don’t say something! A soul is at stake!
There is no way that a book could be written with a rigid and inflexible step-by-step plan to lead a person to Christ. Every single instance is different. However, there are some threads of sameness that might allow us to do some categorizing.
One is this: Sharing the gospel with someone who seeks you out for personal or health reasons. That is the story of Elaine.
I must, however, preface the relating of that experience with something that has happened to me over the last 20 years or so. Whenever I am talking to anyone...a person in a senior-care home or a waitress in a restaurant, I "hear" a voice behind me saying, "You know you are going to have to say something." I guess we should see every encounter as a spot to say something that could be defined as a witness.
In Elaine's case, she stopped me and began to talk. At first I stood before her where she sat on a dining room chair, but then, upon hearing her words, I pulled up a chair before her.
"I am not feeling very well," she said. "What do you mean? What doesn't feel well?" "I'm not sure. I just don't feel well at all."
I asked if she had seen a doctor or if she had told the CNAs there. She told me no. I urged her to do that right away.
"Let me pray for you," I said. She was pleased.
While I was praying, I was getting that message, "You know you have to say something to her about salvation."
"Elaine, do you ever think about eternity and what happens to us after we leave this old earth?" "Yes," she said. "What if something happened to you, let's say while you were sleeping tonight? You know, that is what happened to my husband." (I then shared the Ken Heldman story emphasizing that he truly knew Christ as his Savior.) "Would you go to heaven to be Jesus?" "I hope so."
I then had to opportunity to share the gospel and how wonderful God is to make it so that we know we are on our way to heaven. We don't have to ever wonder. We talked back and forth together for about 15 minutes and at the end of that time, she prayed and said all the right things about being a sinner and needing a Savior!
We left, looking forward to seeing each other again in two weeks. When I walked in the door two weeks later, one of the ladies was there to meet me.
"Do you remember Elaine?" "Yes." "She died last week."
Sometimes that is how it goes...yet, sometimes you get another chance. It took 17 years once before an old lady put her trust in the Lord. But we always need to give it a try. A good one. Right away!