Ruthie and I have a friend who is a nurse. Not a bed-side nurse, you understand. She’s the kind of nurse who gives physicals, blood tests, and other procedures when people are seeking specific jobs where health issues are important. She meets some very interesting folks.
She (Arlene) herself grew up in a Christian church, but a church she describes as “very toxic.” She was taught from an early age that God was hard to please and was probably pretty angry with her no matter how hard she tried to “be good.” She describes how the main exposure she got to God was what she called, “hellfire and damnation.” When she became a young adult she tired of the whole environment and walked away. Away from the church, away from God, away from the whole Christianity scene. Now at least she could sleep nights.
Recently, though, she met a delightful Christian man and fell in love. He began to share with her about the God he knew. A God who loved her so much He didn’t even want to spend eternity without her (DA417). She fell in love, not only with Vernon, but also with Vernon’s God.
He taught her about praying…how she could pray about everything, any time, any where. She told us, “I didn’t know you could do that. I walk around now praying about everybody I meet.” And her new love for God exponentially widened her ability to love everyone she met.
Early last week she sent us this text: “I just wanted to share a special moment I had today. I had a 49-year old male come in for a drug screening and a physical for a new job. As we visited, he shared at length that he has 30-year-old twin boys who are both developmentally delayed with all the disadvantages that go with that condition. It was heart-rending. I listened attentively and offered some suggestions. Then I offered to pray for him.
“When I finished he was quiet for a few moments, then he said, ‘Ma’am, I have not been a believer but I feel like Jesus hugged me today.’”
“I feel like Jesus hugged me today.” What a delicious response to meeting a Christian who genuinely cared about him and his boys. One of our prayer partners said recently to a friend, “God looks good in you.” We decided we could say the same about Arlene.
By Don Jacobsen