Our first house was in a neighborhood that had no stop signs. Weird, I know. It was a grid of intersecting side streets, and our little house–situated on a corner lot–looked out upon one of the many intersections.
There was an unwritten rule in the neighborhood that the east/west drivers yielded. If you were headed east or west, you would drive slowly, pausing every two or three houses to yield as you approached the next north/south road. The only time the system failed us was when someone unacquainted with our neighborhood drove on an east/west road.
Believe it or not, this occasionally happened.
One afternoon, I heard a crash and ran to my front window. Two cars had collided and were now crumpled together in our front yard. I could tell which driver was ‘new’: She was the one who emerged looking stunned, rather than angry.
Being that this was before cell phones, I called to her and asked if she wanted to come in and use our phone. So she did.
She called the police and a friend, and then sat for a moment in our living room, looking rather dazed. She said, “I could have died just now. My sister just died recently, and now I could have died.”
I nodded sympathetically, and then asked, “Do you know what would happen to you, if you died?”
Her expression shifted to bewilderment. She said, “Well… no…. Does anybody?”
I said yes; that I knew–based on what God said in the Bible. I could tell she was intrigued by my confidence, and so I explained myself. I talked about the world beyond ours, which is invisible to us now, but will one day make this life seem like the dream, rather than the reality. I told her that in that life, we will see God for who he is, and we will be held accountable for how we responded to his Son, whom God sent into our world. Those who have embraced God’s Son as Savior and Lord will enter into eternal happiness. And those who have ignored or rejected Jesus Christ will be cast out to outer darkness.
The woman carefully weighed my words. I gave her a little booklet to take home, and she said she would think it over.
The police arrived, and as she walked out to her car, I prayed for her. I had a strong sense that God had purposely placed her in my living room for those 20 minutes or so. I have no idea what happened to her, but I wonder if someday I’ll get to greet her in heaven.
Once in a while, our lives collide with someone else’s. Maybe it’s just for twenty minutes, or maybe it’s for twenty years. I believe that God oversees these collisions–that he strategically places his people so that they can share the good news.
That east/west woman had no intention of coming to my house that day, but God brought her to me anyway. I’m thankful that I was ready to speak of Jesus! I fear that there have been others he’s sent to me, whom I have missed. Maybe I didn’t hear the crash in their lives, or I was ‘too busy’ to help. Maybe I failed to notice the bewilderment in their eyes, or lacked the boldness to ask if they knew Jesus.
As Christians, we must be ready at all times. Maybe even today, God will send an east/west driver to your door, or your lunch table, or your facebook news feed. Will you talk to her about Him?