How a ‘little maid’ led me to Christ

February 18th, 2012

My dad loved to quote a church signboard he once saw: “Be careful what you say and do. You may be someone’s only contact with the Bible.” I saw the force of that with new clarity the other day when Joe, our campus pastor at Colorado Christian University, challenged a group of us to think in depth about how we first came to know the Lord.

The events of a week in July 1980, when my lifelong identification as a follower of Mrs. Eddy was rocked to its foundations by the irresistible claims of Jesus Christ, are a story I have told countless times and thanked God for again and again. But it was only when going over them prayerfully and anew, at Joe’s urging, that I realized for the very first time the role of one college freshman, seemingly a bit player in the drama, as in fact the vital link that connected the whole chain God used to reach me.

Laurie, I think her name was. She was on a summer evangelism trip to Boulder with the Intervarsity group she had joined at Stanford after breaking with her CS upbringing. Annie, her younger sister, was at the Adventure Unlimited camp in Buena Vista (for which I happened to work) that same week. Their mother asked me to contact Laurie and take her to visit Annie, hoping this would pull the older sister back toward Science. The plot twist, which I won’t relate in detail here, was that I ended up being the one pulled – into the gospel embrace of a Savior who has held me ever after.

What I never fully realized until now was this: absent the hungry, humble, bold, brave turn toward the Christ of Scripture by this girl not yet 20, my opportunity to make that same turn as an accomplished, admired, self-important professional man of almost 40 would not have come about. Laurie led the way, and the Father scripted the whole improbable sequence!

Like the “little maid,” nameless in II Kings 5, working as a house slave in Syria after being abducted from her people in Israel, who spoke up fearlessly to tell the great Naaman, her leprous master, of the living God who could heal him; like the “lad here” in John 6, who dared get close enough to Jesus’ men that his few bits of fish and bread could be used to feed thousands; like the “little child” in Matthew 18 who was in the right place at the right time to serve as the Lord’s example of who is fit for the Kingdom – young Laurie the restless seeker after eternal life blazed a trail to the foot of the cross for proud confident John.

I only talked to her for a few minutes a few times, and she never really witnessed to me; at least not in words. I don’t know her last name, or where she is now, and I wouldn’t recognize her if we met again. I don’t even know if she remained a follower of Jesus. But I have. What she up and did was all the witness I needed, just at that unexpectedly dramatic moment in my life.

Sifting back through the whole experience lately has filled me with awe and gratitude at God’s grace as never before, and made me all the more determined to witness at every chance (aloud or silently) through and every other channel open to me, for those who may be helped onward to Him even if I never know it. Laurie surely never knew the part she played in my conversion.

“Be careful what you say and do. You may be someone’s only contact with the Bible.”

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