Thursday, February 24, 2005

Crosses and Evangelism....

This morning, Kim, at The Upward Call wrote about wearing a cross. It reminded me of the story about how the Lord used a cross to bring my grocery checker into His family. In Utah, one does not see very many crosses because the mormons don't like to 'focus' on the cross. Not always, but usually, when you see someone wearing a cross, it just takes a question or two, to confirm that they are indeed, saved.

On this particular spring day, I was in the check out line at the grocery store and the checker, Phyllis, saw my cross and commented on it. She asked if I was Catholic and I smiled and told her, "I'm a born again Christian." She asked which church I went to and I shared that I went to this particular Bible church. After that initial contact, whenever I returned to the store I made sure I went through Phyllis' checkout station. Over the next several months she always had a question or two, or maybe just a comment.

One day, several of the gals were talking about a 'tragic incident.' I asked if something had happened. Phyllis shared with me that one of the ladies that worked there had lost her husband the night before. I agreed that was sad. She looked at me and asked me if I felt like there was a specific time for people to die. My response to her was that the Bible says that our days are numbered and God alone knows how many they are. That is why it is so important for a person to be right with God, because one never knew when they were going to die and have to stand before God. Phyllis shared that she had been widowed some 16 years ago and she felt the same way...that there weren't any "accidents" when it came to a person dying.

On another visit she shared with me how she has a severely handicapped son, along with 2 other children who are older than Brad. I shared with her that I had had a brother who had Down Syndrome. There was talk about finding purpose in all of that and I reached out and touched her arm and told her that there definitely was a purpose for Brad being born. She told me that she couldn't understand what it was. I told her that even if she never knew what his purpose was, God did. I asked her if she had a Bible, to which she replied that she did. "Read Psalm 139, especially verses 11 through 16." I told her that she must be a very special person for the Lord to have blessed her with Brad.

Each time I went to the store I went through her line and over 7 months we had these little divine snippets of conversation. I prayed mightily that the Lord would enable me to give her just the right verse for encouragement. I asked her to come join us for our ladies Bible study on her day off. As the conversations progressed I asked the ladies in my Bible study to begin praying for her salvation. My husband, Jim, began praying, James was praying, my ladies prayer group began praying for her salvation, people at church began praying for her.

Well, right before Thanksgiving (2003) I was picking up a few last minute things and I went through her line. She made a comment to me, "You know, Claire, when one is right with God then everything else falls into place." I was so taken aback! My reply to her was, "Yes, Phyllis, that is true, when one is right with God, things fall into place." Then she said, "I am so glad that I made that decision!" She kept right on talking but I didn't really hear her because I was so fixated on the word "decision." "Decision?" I asked. "Oh yes!" she gushed. So, I sought to qualify, "Was there a specific time, or a day, or date that she could pin point for her decision?" "Oh most definitely! November 10th!" she shared. I just about dropped my bag of groceries as I repeated back to her, "November 10th?" "Oh yes! That's the best day of my whole life!" I looked at her and said, "Phyllis, that is the same day that James' friend and lab partner accepted the Lord! She came out of mormonism!" Phyllis said, "I came out of mormonism, too, and it all began with that cross of yours!!" I then shared that my spiritual birthday was November 6, 1972 at which her eyes got really big and she said, "God has certainly been busy in November, hasn't he? November is the very best month!" I agreed and left the store. As soon as I got out of the store I burst into tears, happy, joyful, tears. And, I called our son first, because Jim was still sleeping, to share the good news, then I began calling all the other people who had been praying for her.

Later, she shared with me how she had been seeking. In fact, she had asked so many questions of so many people in her search to know Truth. It wasn't until she saw my cross and began asking me questions that she thought maybe she was on the right track.

She has joined our ladies Bible study and just loves it and is growing in her relationship with the Lord. It was such a privilege to be used by God to bring Phyllis into His family!


Magvou said...

Wow, Dan was just telling us this weekend about how you were a part of bringing your grocery clerk to the Lord. We, my husband and I and Dan and his wife all agreed that for some reason that kind of stuff doesn't seem to happen very often among us. Is it kind of an awareness thing? I think there was a time when I was more aware of what the Lord was doing and would join Him more readily. Then I got married and now I'm having the baby and I'm more inwardly focused, but I think I should be praying about the outward stuff again. Any pointers or suggestions?

Pilot Mom said...

It takes prayer, first off, asking the Lord to allow you to be involved in His work. Then, prayer that He would enable you to see spiritual opportunities and then be willing to be used. The more you are willing, the more you listen, the more you will see the opportunities to share God's good news of Christ. The main thing is to be willing! :) I hope this helps...there is NOTHING else like it when one is involved in another coming to the Lord!!!

Becky said...

Thats a beautiful story Pilot Mom. How awesome and humbling to be used by God in such an everlasting way. One day, on the streets of heaven, you will pass each other and she will stop and hug you and thank you for being open about your faith. Praise God!

Kim said...

Clare, this is just another example that God knows exactly what He is doing when he puts us where we are. Thanks for sharing this. No doubt you are a great encouragement to this lady.