Have you ever had a moment that takes you back in time…back to a place of long ago, but yet to a moment that feels like yesterday?
I had one such reverie this past weekend as we sat inside the house with torrential rain and high winds swirling all around us. After several consecutive days like this, to say we were getting stir crazy would be an understatement.
I believe we covered every square inch of our house with make-believe explorations, indoor hide and seek, and with plenty of quality time with the Breyer horses. Along with the Breyer horses is the infamous horse barn which my husband so lovingly built for our daugther and which is so proudly displayed in an entire room in our basement (yes, you read that right—an entire room, but that is another story for another time).
Anyway, it was in one of those explorative moments, that my husband and daughter stumbled across a box in our basement storage closet. A box covered in dust but filled with many memories from my childhood. Memories of accomplishments at school, Vacation Bible School, and even an old report that I did on the care and training of a horse—much to my daughter’s complete elation!
As I saw her excitement in looking at old trophies and rewards, I knew this would be a great time to pull out my old scrapbook and have her take a walk with me down memory lane. I gleefully grabbed it out of an old storage box and we all sat on the basement stairs looking through it together.
I was casually turning the pages and offering comments along the way when all of a sudden my husband let out a gasp and grabbed the book from me. In complete disbelief, he looked at an 8×10 autographed picture of Yogi Berra that was haphazardly stuffed into my scrapbook. “How in the world did you get this?” he quickly asked. (Now, you have to know my husband played baseball all through high school and even in college, so this was a really big deal to him). Immediately, he was all about hearing the story behind it.
So, here’s the story that I shared with them—a story that is both humorous, yet now challenging to me so many years later:
I’m not exactly sure of my age at the time of this story, but I am guessing I was around 10 years old. My parents had been talking for months about building a family room on to our home and finally had scheduled an appointment with a contractor to come and give them an estimate.
We did not know this man or even have a referral but before the visit was over there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that God had sent him to our house for something far more important than an addition to our home.
From the moment he walked into our house until just before he left, I firmly believed in my heart this man needed Jesus, and I firmly believed it was my job to tell him. So without any inhibition, I repeatedly interrupted the appointment telling him about Jesus. I’m a little embarrassed to say that I even hopped on my piano to sing him a song about Jesus, and then when I couldn’t wait any longer I outright asked him if he knew Jesus to which he quietly said, “No, I don’t know Jesus.”
As this point, my parents began to see that this was not about an overzealous daughter, but rather a God-ordained moment. They began to share their story of how God miraculously saved them and had made such a difference in their lives. Before long, with tears in his eyes, right there at our kitchen table, the contractor prayed to receive Jesus in his life.
I was so excited to be a part of such an awesome life-changing moment! And in my excitement, I quickly realized that this brand-new Christian needed a Bible. I knew we had plenty of old Bibles around and was just trying to figure out where to locate one when my eyes landed on the perfect one to give him.
I jumped out of my seat and ran over to our coffee table and proudly picked up and presented our Jerry Falwell Old Time Gospel Hour Special Family Edition Bible that had decorated our coffee table for years. Anyone who is familiar with this particular Bible knows it is HUGE and very heavy. In fact, I could barely carry it. I’m sure my parents were holding back laughter and certainly didn’t have the heart to take back my generous gift. The contractor graciously took the Bible, thanked us for everything, and I can still picture him lugging the HUGE Bible out to his truck.
Weeks later, we received a very touching letter from him telling us that he had been searching for a long time and how that visit to our house had changed his life forever. At the end of his heartwarming letter, he told us that he was a personal friend of Yogi Berra’s and had him autograph a picture for me.
While it was very cool to receive this signed picture, I was much more moved by the heartfelt note. Hence, the reason the picture was casually stuffed into a scrapbook while the letter was cherished forever.
After I told his crazy story to my daughter and husband this past weekend, we all had a good laugh at my childlike enthusiasm. My husband especially thought it was hilarious that I gave away the family Bible!
In addition to the laughs, however, over the last few days, I have had a nagging question haunt me:
If I had a contractor come to my house today, would I have that same concern, passion, and persistence in wanting to make sure they knew about Jesus?
I’m afraid if I’m honest, I would have to say no.
The truth is there are people all around me who need Jesus. What am I doing to make sure they know Him? Am I boldly telling the world or am I too worried about what people will think of me?
The reality is that some day we are all going to stand before God and either hear “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” or “depart from Me I never knew you.” I would hate to think that someone might hear “depart from Me” when I knew them and could have told them about Jesus, but I didn’t.
I guess this whole story was a good reminder to me that no one is promised tomorrow—that is why we must be a BOLD light today and share Jesus with EVERYONE we meet.
So, while on one hand, it was a dreary, miserable weekend, I have to say that I’m thankful for the rain…for the opportunity to reminisce…and for the chance to reignite my passion to tell the world about Jesus!