Location: New England, United States

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Under The Magnifying Glass

Never in my lifetime have I witnessed such a public scrutiny of Christians as this present age. Our current administration has placed Christianity on the front page of newspapers and newscaster's notes. However, agreeing with a quote I heard recently (forgive me, I cannot remember the author's name) "Even a good thing can cast a shadow." It reminds me of a conversation I had a few years ago with an unbelieving friend.

My friend, Paula, worked for one of the most respected cancer surgeons in the county. A mutual acquaintance, Sal, had made an appointment to see this doctor. Sal was a prominent contractor in our city. He started his company early in his marriage and in the ensuing twenty years, his company grew to the most successful contracting company in the area. Sal was kind and generous, but as his reputation grew, so did the whispers about pay-offs and unfair dealings to obtain government contracts. None of this was ever substantiated and I dismissed the criticism, but many did not.

Early in his forties, Sal was diagnosed with cancer, and after a series of surgeries and chemotherapy, his future recovery dimmed. As Paula recounted, Sal made an appointment with her employer, the well-know cancer specialist. Unfortunately, the doctor did not have good news for Sal, and he passed away a few weeks later.

As my friend Paula recounted this story to me, she chuckled that Sal must have been desperate because he carried a Bible with him on his appointment to meet her doctor. "I guess everyone finds religion when they are about to die."

I remember at that moment feeling such sadness for Sal and Paula. Sal died in his early forties, and although no one can know the heart of another, it took terminal cancer for Sal to finally seek the Kingdom of God. Perhaps there had been other forks in the road when Sal could have chosen God, but he waited until his time here was closing.

My sadness for Paula was for her future. There are no coincidences and everything God does serves multiple purposes - sometimes so many purposes - we cannot fathom who it has effected.
Paula had witnessed Sal and his Bible on purpose. It was a knock on her door, so apparently God was trying to reach her, and failing, what future event will finally reach Paula?

What would it take for you to open the door to God?

"I am the door; if any one enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture." John 10:9 RSV


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