My 5-Minute Chat with an Agnostic

Photo credit: Jan Westmark

Photo credit: Jan Westmark

“I’m sorry to have crowded your space,” I said to the woman, smiling. “It was the only place at the pool in the shade.”

It was 9 am at the beach front condo and it was already hot, despite being the beginning of the fall season. With three pools and lots of empty chairs, I guess it seemed strange that I would plop down right next to the only used lounger. I guessed that the woman swimming laps in the pool was in her 70’s.

She proceeded to dry off and stretch. “That’s okay. I don’t blame you. This is a good spot with a nice breeze.”

My Bible was opened on my lap, and I was holding my Charles Stanley Bible study with my right hand. I looked her straight in the eye.

“It looks like you’re studying,” she commented.

“Yes, I am… Charles Stanley. You know of him?”

“Oh no…I’m an agnostic.”

I thought I knew what that meant, but I wanted to hear it from her.

“What does that mean?’ I inquired.

She flung her hands in the air and said, “Don’t know…don’t care.”

I nodded and continued to smile.

“Yeah…I just believe God created me and has a purpose for me. And I’m just experiencing some tough stuff right now. I’ve gotten bad news, so I’m reading my Bible and hanging onto that hope.”

She continued to dry her back and look into my face.

“You radiate…” she began.

“You’re the kind of Christian Jesus was talking about.”

With those words, she said goodbye and walked away.

Imagine…Jesus shining through my cracks of brokenness. When the brokenhearted seeks hope in a frightful situation. For Jesus is my hope…a Holy presence that allows even the doubtful to see Him. He encouraged me through that agnostic. That is the miracle– that He chose to use someone who doesn’t care about the existence of Jesus to say, “I see Jesus in you.” Only Jesus could have done that in me and for me.

Friend, we don’t have to be perfect or have our lives together for God to use us.

Debbie is co-founder of Shine! Ministries and a partner with The Polished Conference. She is the author of one Bible Study, “Shine! Young Women Radiating the Love of God,” available at or She would love to speak at your next women’s event, teen event, or at colleges where she brings an inspirational message to teachers in training called, “A Christian Perspective for an Inspirational Classroom.” For more information visit her website: or visit her page on facebook: shineministriesnc. Contact her directly at

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8 Responses to My 5-Minute Chat with an Agnostic

  1. Ann Tatlock says:

    What a beautiful message, Debbie. I’m so glad she saw Jesus in you, because it’s heartbreaking to imagine anyone throwing up her hands and saying, “Don’t know, don’t care.” Maybe, hopefully, you’ve given her something to think about.

    • I wondered too how much harder the difficult times would be without God’s care. I feel in my heart, she’s thinking about this. 🙂 Thank you, Ann for reading my blogs and supporting me in many ways. You are wonderful to me! 🙂

  2. Cindy Morrison says:

    Debbie this lady obviously has some knowledge of Christianity when she says something like ‘you are the kind of Christian Jesus was talking about’. Maybe she has been in church and has left, who knows. But I find myself praying for this lady that she will recognize the proof of God that she saw when God revealed himself radiating from you to her. Thank you Debbie for your faithful witness and sharing this story on how God can and will use us when we least expect it.

    • Cindy, my friend, I will join you in that prayer for her. Yes, God uses us when we least expect it…and when it’s the last thing on our minds. Not because we aren’t thinking about God, but because we’re broken and hurting. So then, all we do is be real. And being real is what others see. Love and miss you!

  3. Michelle says:

    I have always admired you for just that reason…Your unwavering Faith! I do believe God knows exactly where to place us at the exact moment we are needed. I bet the lady thought about you for awhile. Maybe she had been in a church were it wasn’t a cohesive Christian environment & maybe seeing/talking with you will help her find her way. You are always living what you’re believing & that my sweet friend will always Shine through you! Thanks for sharing. Loves

    • Michelle, my favorite cheerleader, please join me in praying for this dear woman. You are right…there was a reason God put us together! Thank you for reading my blogs, supporting me, and your encouragement over the years!

  4. Gloria Spears says:

    This is an amazing testimony Debbie. I know this agnostic lady surely went away wondering, if there just might be something to this Bible stuff. You planted a seed and we pray the Lord take the blinders off and reveal truth to her in a mighty way. She met the real Ms Sparkles, Debbie Presnell. 🙂

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