Friday, June 3, 2011

Simple Encounters and Sowing Seeds



Dr. Jesse slid her chair across the floor and eyed me, mentally calculating her words.

“What church do you go to?”

This was not the first time I had been asked this question. Friendship evangelism (often with adults) was something that I loved to do. And after every experience where I would end up sharing my faith, I felt even more indebted to my Redeemer. I wanted to do more for Him than ever before. The happiness and peace that I experienced from serving Him was thrilling.

I had come in for a regular check-up at the local clinic, and Jesse was asking me the usual questions that doctors tend to ask teenagers.

…“So tell me, do you have plans concerning education? You’re homeschooled, right?”

“Yes,” I smiled, “I am accountable to a high school up in Maine called NARHS.”

“Do you enjoy learning at home? I’ve met homeschoolers that have more friends than I do,” she laughed quickly, “and then others that are more socially lacking.”

“Oh I love home schooling!” I replied. “I enjoy being able to work out my own schedule and learn things at home that I wouldn’t have normally been able to at school: such as being a homemaker, cooking, childrearing, etc. in addition to my school work.”

“So do you feel like you have enough friends?”

“Oh yes. You know that every person we come in contact with will have an influence over us, which can be either negative or positive. What I enjoy about home schooling is that I can choose my friends much more carefully. And I have some very good ones.” I smiled faintly as I thought of a few in particular.

She nodded and tucked a wisp of dark hair away from her face. “So let’s say that you complete high school. What are you going to do then?”

“I’m planning on taking a correspondence course on Christian counseling.”

“Oh,” she nodded. “What then?”

“I’d like to spend time doing foreign mission work. But honestly, I want to go wherever God leads me, and to fulfill His mission for my life wherever I am.”
She hesitated, and I watched her carefully.

“Now I know many people your age are thinking about dating,” she went on to the next question on her list. “Have you ever thought or are you thinking about getting into a relationship?”

“I think that the world’s kind of dating is not worth my time,” I replied. “It is a bunch of young people fooling around with emotions, and all too often it ends with broken hearts. I don’t want to be like that. I want to be able to give my whole heart to my future husband - not broken pieces. So I won’t get involved in a relationship until I feel the Lord is leading me in that direction.”

A soft expression rested on her face. “Good, very good.”

It was then that she asked me about my faith. I was sure it wasn’t among the list of general questions she was supposed to ask.

I told her that I went to the little Seventh-Day Adventist church in Newbury.

“Oh?” she asked. “I knew some Seventh-Day Adventists up in Maine…they would invite me over for tofu egg…” she stopped. “….casserole? I can’t remember what they called it.”

After a few minutes, she brought up the subject again. “Now Seventh-Day Adventists…do they go to church on Friday?”

Now it was my turn to puzzle. “No,” I shook my head, “they worship on Saturday. We take the 4th commandment literally when it says the “seventh” day.”

“But are you sure it’s not on Friday? Every Friday night when I drive by that little church on my way home, I see cars parked along the road.”

“Vespers!” I exclaimed. “That’s what you’re talking about.”

“I hope you don’t mind me asking these questions,” she turned to me. “I grew up in a family of pastors, but I am still trying to figure things out.”

“I don’t mind at all. I love hearing about other people’s faith and what makes them believe what they do. I want to study the Bible for myself and know what I believe, because when you grow up in a home with particular beliefs, it is very natural to follow along with whatever you’ve been taught. There are so many churches in America…and I want to be sure that I’m in the right one.”

As I left the office, my heart was praising God for yet another opportunity to share His influence. “What a joy to serve Thee, oh Lord. I want to do this for the rest of my life!”

The ability to serve Him was an honor that I knew I didn’t deserve. I didn’t see anything in myself except unworthiness and merely being willing to serve as His instrument.

The only way I could think of it, was that His beauty melted my incapability by His sweet presence. I smiled happily, praising Him that I had the privilege to bear His image to a dark and dying world. And what comforted me as I pondered this experience, was that I knew His love during the course of my life wouldn’t just change the hearts that I touched - but mine too.