“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 Grace-publishing.com or amazon.com. 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: www.debbiepresnell.com or visit her page on facebook: shineministriesnc. Contact her directly at email@example.com.