When we first moved into our neighborhood it was pretty much families w/ young children. Going to the pool every day was fabulous. It was safe for the kids and a pleasant experience. As our neighborhood got older so did the kids. Don't get me wrong there are still a lot of great young families and great kids here. Something though, shifted, and the pool went from family friendly to happy hour in just a few short years.
There are a lot of Christ followers in my neck of the woods. As last summer came to a close several shared their disappointment on how foal the language was and how awful that someone was thrown out of the 4th of July party for disorderly conduct. The kids aren't doing this either, it's the adults. So what do we do?
God spoke to me during one conversation w/ a sister in Christ. "Do not shrink back but take it back" Hmmm yes why not, instead of hiding in a corner or refusing to go to the pool why not pray over the property? Why not be the light instead of running from darkness?
This became even more pronounced when I heard about a man I will rename as "Bruce". He was a dad in his 40's & seemed like an alright guy. One day while the "end zone section" of the pool was getting rowdy (he would sit there often) we took up a conversation. It went like this Bruce: what book you reading? Me: this is my bible, pretty cool looking huh? Bruce: your bible? Me: Sure why not, in this place anything goes.
That is where the conversation ended. Did I not see it was an opportunity?
I admit I felt "funny" and I knew he felt awkward. What a cool opportunity to share my testimony in a casual conversation though.
Yesterday I was hammered on my head and in my heart. Bruce died. Brain hemmorage, just like that. Dead. He asked me what I was reading that day. I was bold enough to read my bible in public but not bold enough to keep a conversation going. Did he know Jesus? Only God knows that. I hate to think he did not and I sat next to him with the Word in my lap. God forgive me.
Today I received this in an email devotional about Esther:
For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" (Est 4:14-15).
So God is speaking to me very clearly about being a light. He wants me to be in the world and not of it. He wants me to not be ashamed of the gospel and to share the good news with the lost. I guess I start looking for opportunities or realizing when one sits right beside me...for such a time is this.
What will you do w/ the Bruce's that you meet? I had nothing to lose, he may have had everything to gain.