Being a witness for His glory and sharing Jesus while being with my family back home sounds like a beautiful picture, but felt like a non-happening thing. Continuing from my previous post – In retrospect – looking back on my trip back home, my Nineveh…
Most of the stay was emerged in my dad’s girlfriend’s low self esteem. She has good points too and means well which is nice, but a look, a word, a turn of my head could unknowingly send her into a spin of emotions and bring about tension neither of us could handle. I had a great need to spend time with my dad and I was there with him – yet ever so often felt like walking on broken glass.
Have you ever poured a much needed cup of coffee and then spilled it all over the floor?
Such a shame to let the coffee go to waste – especially when you so badly need it… And such a shame to see tension control a large part of the stay. While I was there, living the moment and the relationships, I was as blind as a bat as to how God might use me. I saw no opportunities to share my faith or any openings to even speak His Name. My prayer life went completely down the drain. Morning prayer time just didn’t happen (so much more need for coffee…), but instead I sent many looks towards the sky asking why He sent me all the way across Siberia and then not share His good news?? But God was silently with me. I didn’t feel left to myself or alone, but He was silent.
I quickly fell back into old ways, despite that having been one of my biggest fears of going back. But in retrospect that was actually a good thing. To communicate with “my own” people I have to understand how they communicate and what they mean. However, I oftentimes found myself feeling quite out of place and even uncomfortable.
Now that I’m back and I have been able to think things through, I can see how God placed pieces of information with various people without directly sharing my faith. God is so wise!! I’m awestruck and feel so humbled that He has opened my eyes to His ways and allowed me to see this. I suppose most of the time we just have to trust Him without actually knowing. But He knows me and knows that one of my biggest enemies is disbelief. I have a deep need to see His hand working, otherwise I hit 0 faster than a Ferrari hits 100.
The Lord began with the neighbor who is this lovely lady in her 50’s living with a very kind man and suddenly she opened up and shared with me how broken their relationship really is etc. We had a chance to grow closer and I shared my faith with her directly. Not to share Jesus but because my perspective is different, my values needed some explanation and my trust in God being good needed to be spoken. She wished she could have that peace and hope… so I did share with her, but had no clue I had, until afterwards.
God then placed the information with my dad’s girlfriend’s daughter-in-law (complicated?) that our petsitter is from the church we attend. I can still see her eyes full of surprise (church??), and though she didn’t ask any questions, it was filed in the memory bank of her brain. Though it’s no use I do wonder what question was on her mind next.
My brother’s way of communicating has changed a great deal into sales-talk. Being a sales man and making a lot of money now has certainly put some strong opinions on the man. While I was feeling very uncomfortable on the inside during a conversation where he basically hauled every family member we have (not that many left now) through the eye of his own standards, which are high and all fall short – and then complaining about them not staying in touch. Now I realize that on the outside, I was completely calm and made no comments that were not honoring to God. Yep, I feel like clapping myself on the shoulder, but I’m not going to because on the inside I squirmed like a worm with every word that came out of his mouth. It was God’s Grace alone that kept my face looking the way it did!
I realize that I have badly sinned during the time back home. I was a sinner swimming in her old neck of the world. But at the same time God has used me as His vessel fully knowing, I suppose, that my family and friends wouldn’t be able to handle a full throttle Jesus-freak walking through the door and I wouldn’t be able to handle their reaction. But small subtle information pieces placed at the right time and place. God is so good and I am so thankful – and I am still a sinner. But a forgiven one.
The opportunity to share faith didn’t come until my dad drove us to the airport and as we got really close to it, he talked about the death of his mom. His mom was a believer and she couldn’t wait to go home. She had faith and she knew where she was going… that has been the strongest testimony of faith I have personally ever seen. I told my dad about that and perhaps something inside was moved. The fact remain that when we said “see you next time” he teared up. That is the first time he has ever done that when we left. He is scared he will not see us again and quite frankly so am I. I am not blind to the stage of his cancer, but I pray God has moved a mountain and that my dad will remember his mother’s faith. Just maybe, at some point, my dad will not be scared anymore. That’s my prayer.