Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you. – 1 Peter 3:15
As we were briefly laying over in Phoenix on our way to Colorado Springs for the EFM [mission] conference, Alan and I changed our seats during our stop to get some more legroom. Meanwhile, the Lord had a plan.
As the last passengers boarded our now-full flight, one traveler noticed my bright yellow running shoes and we briefly talked about running footwear. He then decided to sit between us for the next hour, and a half we had a marvelous conversation.
As Alan and I asked him questions and learned more about him, he told us some of his story. He eventually revealed he had just recently begun to practice Buddhist mindfulness exercises post-COVID to reduce anxiety; thus the conversation was opened for spiritual topics.
He asked where and why we were traveling and we revealed that we were pastors going to gather with others in the Lord. This led him to speak about his early neutral experiences in church before we asked him this question: “Have you ever read the Bible as an adult?”
He said he hadn’t and asked where he should start if he did. “We recommend starting in the gospel of Mark because it is the earliest historical document we have about Jesus and the simplest.” He seemed interested and continued to converse with us about this to the point where I asked him if he would actually be interested, right here and now, in seeing how we read the Bible.
Amazingly, he readily agreed!
When we got to Mark 1:7 about how John felt “unworthy” his heart opened and he began to share with us about the unworthiness and insecurity he personally felt. It was at this point that the Lord opened the door for us to share the gospel with him about how God’s love for us makes us worthy and how He demonstrated this love for us in Jesus Christ by dying for us. He was very open and, when asked whether he would like to continue this conversation over the phone in the future, he quickly gave me his number to do so!
Please pray for our friend “John” to continue this conversation and come to faith in Jesus!