I was at the mall this weekend and I was walking past one of the small kiosks inside the mall where various trinkets are sold and though I avoided eye contact as I walked by, the vendor made his pitch. Though the pitch was smooth, I was out profiling with my wife, daughter and granddaughter and they were in serious shopping mode. In just the few seconds that I stopped to share a polite “No thanks” they pulled ahead by 14 stroller lengths. After hearing my polite rejection, this young man asked if I minded if he asked a question about my brace. I told him that it was okay, ask anything you want. He wanted to know if I had some type of back surgery and I briefly explained the procedure. He then wanted to know if it had been a good experience as he has been having problems with his L2, L3 and L4 vertebrae. I let him know that the surgery to fuse my L4 and L5 vertebrae 11 weeks ago had been a very good experience for me. I was in a bit of a hurry at that point as the family was nowhere in sight and I had visions of a “Red Apple Sale” going on without my supervision – like that ever made a difference. Basically, I just wanted to catch up and spend some time with my family, none of whom were in my line of sight at this point. So I directed him to this website to check out my story and the good progress that I have been blessed with. He plugged the link into his smart phone and said, “Thanks!” I then hustled on my way looking for the coolest grandkid in sunglasses in the mall.
After I left, I felt a little guilty because I wish I had taken a little more time to give him more details about just how well things are going for me. I wish I had taken the time to tell him how my lower back did not hurt the last time a storm rolled in to town and the temperature dropped 20 degrees. I wish I had taken the time to tell him that I had been in the mall with my family for over an hour and I had not yet had to place my hands on my knees and bend over like a beat up football player in the huddle struggling to stay on the field while the team completed a 4th quarter comeback drive. I wish I had taken the time to tell him how I now was looking forward to sitting in the bleachers some day watching my granddaughters play tee ball, soccer or attend dance recitals or whatever it is that they will do – I will do that now without pain that I would have had to deal with before I had the surgery. You see, I feel like I missed out on an opportunity to fully share my story and tell how God has blessed my through this surgery and through my recovery. As Christians I believe we are called to share our story. Paul said in Colossians 4:5-6
Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.
Hopefully next time I will be a little better prepared to share my story and let someone know how good God has been to me. Hopefully, I won’t be in such a hurry to rush off. I know my family won’t run off without me, but I may never see this young man again. I made a promise to myself that I would post my encounter on my website and hope that nice young man reads it. I also made a promise to myself that I will look for him the next time I go to the mall and see how he is feeling and let him know that I have been praying for him, for pain relief and for any decisions he may need to make.
If you are a Christian, be ready to share your story. Be ready to tell somebody how good God has been to you. You don’t have to know a whole lot of theological terms. You just need to know what the Lord has done for you. In John chapter 9, we learn about a man who was blind from birth. The religious leaders are trying to discredit this miraculous work of Jesus Christ and discredit His ministry and His claim to be the Son of God. They bring in this man who was formerly blind and they say, “Tell us who He is”. The man basically says, “I don’t really know who He is. But I tell you this, I once was blind and now I see!”
That’s his story! I once was blind and now I see! That is a powerful story. Your story can be powerful too. Your story of how the Lord has forgiven you, strengthened you and provided for you is unique and powerful! People can argue with a lot of things, but they cannot argue with your personal experience! Your story of how God is working in you, working for you and working through you can make a powerful difference in someone’s life. Make the most of your opportunities to tell you story!
If you would like to read about my story, and how the Lord worked in my life, click on the tab “Why I Believe.” May God bless you and give you a good night’s sleep and help you with whatever decisions you may need to make.
If you would like to know more about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, you can send me an email directly at firstname.lastname@example.org