I was in Autozone again yesterdy getting a battery recharged. Part 9 of Lessons from the Nissan. It was not busy and I talked to a very nice older man who I've seen in the store before. As he was charging my battery we chatted about my car, his family, and the weather.
I was aware that the conversation had gone well and I was equally aware that I didn't want it not to. My flesh was resisting the Spirit's desire to to move the direction of the conversation to the eternal big time. Nothing new--typical garden variety fear of man. I never look the part in Autozone as it is and I didn't want to be considered a foolish zealot to the men there.
As I walked around the store texting I thought about the fact that the guys at the counter will one day stand before Jesus as supreme Reality. On that day nobody is going to wish we had talked about him less--no matter how poorly we got the words out--or how foolish we felt.
I asked the man if he went to a church somewhere. He looked surprised but not as surprised as I was about to be. From the bottom of my heart I assumed he didn't go anywhere. So goes my hunches.
"well...I go to the LDS church in Denton."
Surprised, I asked, "wow...so you've been a Mormon for several years...were you raised a Mormon?"
"no...32 years ago a Mormon missionary knocked on our door. Seemed like the right thing for my wife and I to do. Our kids have all done missionary work. Our church is busting at the seems and we're needing to build."
[waves of sinking feelings come on me when I hear of happy news like this]
We talked briefly about how their services go on Sunday and that our church meets across the street from the church in Frisco he referenced. The battery was handed back to me charged and he had some other customers and our conversation ended. As a parting word from a sensed interest from me he said, "you should come and visit sometime...see you later."
In a terribly awkward way of saying goodbye I squeaked out, "Thanks. I might do that."
If he could read the thought bubble above my head the sentences would have said something like...
"I mean that. I would like to visit but never to listen for one moment to a gospel that promises a jesus that is not equal with the Father--a jesus that is created and who is simply us at our best. I would like to visit and tell everyone that there is freedom from the cozy bars of blind legalism--of emotionalism--of subjective stirrings based not on truth--of the treadmill of religious performance--of a heaven and no hell--of the lies of the devil who would seek to cloud you from the truth of the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3). I would like a chance to dare everyone to read the Bible on their own and come away with any sense that the Bible leaves open the possibility of new revelation to come, or a future restoration. I would like to see the Jesus written of by the Apostles be bowed down to like Thomas when he looks at the resurrected Christ and declares "my Lord, and my God (John 20:28)"--to see whole groups of families discover freedom and joy in being saved by the works of Another and declare Joseph Smith as a false prophet who wandered from the faith and renounce any other means to God except personal trust alone in Christ alone of the Bible alone."
Pray that we will see Mormons come to faith in Christ through our witness in Frisco. Pray that the love of Christ from the church would be a compelling voice to the revelation of Christ in his word. God burns for his prodigal sons and daughters.
Again. Assume nothing in reaching out to people. Let's tell people the news they've never heard.