by Becca Christensen
God puts people in our lives with a purpose. Frequently when I look back a few chapters into the story, I’m amazed at how the Lord was working before I realized. I love to play hostess. Often you will find my kitchen table surrounded by a heated card game competition or my living room full of friends screaming the answers to taboo (oh wait, that’s actually me that screams). I make a habit of allowing people to bring along friends I don’t know, giving me the opportunity to expand my friend circle or in some cases my mission field.
One guy in my card playing crew asked me if he could bring his new girlfriend. I immediately said ‘absolutely, can’t wait to meet her’. Over the next few weeks as she would sit across the table from me and ask questions about my job, my church, and even my Christian version of a dating relationship I could tell it was a lot to process. Imagine my disappointment when they broke up and I thought ‘oh no, I missed my chance to share Christ’. Despite that breakup, we continued to get together and workout, walk, or she would take me up on my open invite to ‘pop by’ anytime. The conversations continued and so did my prayers.
It is beyond my way with words to explain the excitement I felt when she decided to try church. Shortly after her visit, she was unstoppable: joining a bible study, accepting Christ, and eventually getting water baptized! Celebrating each of these milestones with her despite her attending a church other than mine was encouraging, exciting, and the sweetest gift.
This Easter we were able to celebrate the true meaning of Easter together, for the first time. As we drove home from service I was able to share with her how I had prayed for her even before she first stepped foot into a church building. The Lord had pursued her and put Christians in her life so strategically. I also shared with her how I would never forget when she first decided to attend church she told me that in that tough season in her life leading up to trying church she had noticed the peace that the Christians in her life had, that she didn’t.
While the amazing part of this story is her journey and her faith, she grew my faith in the process. Her friendship and her story has been the perfect reminder to me of the power of being a light. In Matthew 5 scripture says that we are ‘the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden’. When we are faithful to live our Christian lives with love, compassion, and unwavering truth God can use that contrast.
We don’t always get to be the one to pray with a friend or family member as they accept Christ. They don’t always attend our church or join our bible studies. Sometimes we get to be a small part in planting the seed that have those results but we don’t get to be part of the results. I was blessed enough, this time, to get to see the answers to those prayers even if they came in the form of text message or face-to-face updates instead of first hand experiences.
My challenge is this – love people well. Welcome them. Be transparent with them. Pray for them. Plant seeds.
‘And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love’ –
1 Corinthians 13:13