Sandra* is an easygoing person with an affable manner that allows her to easily make friends with strangers. She knows how to tell a story and she can engage in tough conversations without getting into an argument. She has been volunteering at a hospital and gets to meet many types of patients. Not too long ago, she met Erin, who was dying of a serious illness. Having appreciated an earlier visit, Erin wanted another opportunity to talk to Sandra. Fortunately, Erin’s doctor, who was sympathetic to her needs, also knew Sandra and so arranged for the two women to have some time together.
What ensued was a three-hour meeting. Sandra had brought along with her a copy of What are Christmas and Easter All About? and, with Erin’s permission, was able to read aloud the entire booklet. Sandra went on to answer Erin’s questions and, by the end of their visit, Erin had put her trust in Jesus for salvation. She was now a believer!
Barely three weeks after this meeting, Erin passed away. She left a letter instructing her young adult sons to invite Sandra to speak at her funeral. Erin specifically requested that Sandra read aloud What are Christmas and Easter All About?, just as she had done during that earlier time together. A furore broke out. Jeremy, Erin’s brother, strongly objected to Sandra’s presence at the funeral.
“No! No way,” was Jeremy’s vehement objection. But Erin’s sons, wishing to honour their mother’s wishes, persuaded their uncle to allow Sandra to be present.
Sandra was nervous about the prospect. As far as she knew, none of the family were believers. However, she accepted the opportunity, taking with her 30 copies of the Christmas and Easter booklet. There was no pastor, no other speaker. As Sandra faced the friends and family gathered at the funeral, she recounted her conversation with Erin. Then, as per Erin’s request, she read aloud the entire booklet once again. She then indicated that, at the back of the room, were copies of the same booklet that they could take home. After the service, Sandra was soon caught up in several conversations. It was only later that she noticed that all the booklets were gone. Sandra prayed that those who had picked a copy would read the gospel message.
A month later, Sandra received a phone call. It was Jeremy, Erin’s brother. He wanted to meet and talk. A little nervous about what might happen, Sandra called Erin’s doctor and he agreed to accompany Sandra when she met with Jeremy. The meeting was over a meal at a restaurant. They ended up talking for three hours. Jeremy had a lot to say about God and the Bible and he was hostile much of the time. But Sandra retained her soft demeanour.
At the end of their time together, she simply said to him, “I’ve told you everything. I mean you gotta make a decision. I can’t… I can’t make a decision for you.” When they parted, Sandra wondered what was going through Jeremy’s mind. He had been so belligerent. All she could do was pray for him and leave him in God’s hands.
Some time later, Jeremy called. “I want to see you again,” he said over the phone. So, Sandra once more made arrangements to meet him. What a surprise that turned out to be! Jeremy told her that he had become a believer! Sandra was so thankful and praised the Lord for what he had done. She could not have foreseen how her simple act of reading aloud the gospel story could have such an impact on not one, but two lives. And what of the other 30 booklets that had made available at Erin’s funeral service? Sandra is praying that those who took a copy would also come to a clear understanding of the gospel message and put their trust in Jesus for salvation.
(* All names changed as per GoodSeed policy.)