Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Out of the Past

I met A- in a dorm Bible study about two years ago. She came occasionally to the studies, but something about her just tugged at my heart. A good friend of hers had just been killed in a car accident and she was really struggling with that. Her family is from Puerto Rico, even though some of them do live in a western state.

The only church A- was familiar with was the Catholic church, even though she never seemed to be too serious about the Catholic faith. About nine months ago, A- and I had lunch together. She was leaving the next day to return to her western home to attend another college in her home area. The Holy Spirit compelled me to meet with her one more time and to place her need for salvation in the forefront of our discussion. We had danced around the conversation before, but I had never pressed her. I always let her know that I was there for here if she needed to talk to someone. (And she did take me up on that every so often)

This day in December could have been her spiritual birthday if she had so chosen. But she did not. After I laid it out with compassion and passion -- God's love for her through His Son and her need to see herself as a sinner -- she said this, "I'm really okay right now. But thanks."

Even though I have kept up with her through email and she has remained on my heart, I really have not heard from her except to tell me she had changed her email address and a quick note to tell me that she was not going to the school out west.

But yesterday I did hear from her. It was directly to me, it was a long letter filled with uncertainty, misguided hope, and desperation. She recalled our talk in the car that December day and wanted me to know how much it meant that I cared for her. However, it was the next three paragraphs of her email that would challenge me to prove how much I really cared for her in a tangible way.

She is broke, she says. She gave me the story. She has no where else to turn. She just thought that I would be able to do something. As a side note, she has moved back to a southern city and has taken an internship with a basketball team while doing correspondence courses. It will be interesting to know how all that came about in her life.

When I was a missionary in Africa, I got these kind of requests all the time. Admittedly, I had to fight not to allow the callouses to grow with all these requests. A few of them would be valid, while most of them where not. How in the world to know the difference?

Now this one. This is living in the light of the Gospel, showing Christ, walking in His wisdom, and doing it all with grace and compassion. It's walking along the waterline.

What do I do? First, I'm going to call her this afternoon and just talk with her. From there, I will ask that the Holy Spirit make it perfectly clear what the next step will be.

A- may think that she is just broke physically, but I know that this is spiritual warfare for her soul. God is working in A's life -- and He's allowing me to be a part of it! Awesome!