"I guess you haven't heard," said my friend's daughter after I called to chat with Diane. I held my breath as she then relayed to me that her mother Diane had passed away. The shock hit me like ice water. And so, I spent the next couple of hours trying to adjust to the truth.
Questions plagued me. Was she saved? Did she surrender and ask the Lord to come into her life? The last I knew, she wasn't save. She was upfront about her beliefs, and they didn't include Jesus Christ, though she would ask me questions.
And then the torment began. Did I do enough to try and bring her into the kingdom?
I had known Diane many years prior to my twenty year move to Denver, CO. But only in the last year and a half did we re-connect after I moved back to St. Petersburg, Fl. We were both writers and had written for the same local sailing magazine and had attended the same local writer's group. She said one of her first memories of me was that I was a Christian, led the writers group one time, and opened it in prayer. It seemed a small thing to me, as I didn't even remember this. But it must've meant something to her for her to hold onto this all these years. It was a keen reminder that others are paying attention to our walk with the Lord, though we think they aren't. What is it they say? We are the only Bible that some people will read.
Once again, we saw each other when attending the same writers group which we did from long ago. We went to lunch one day to talk about writing. And then the questions started.
"What do you believe about mediums?" she asked me.
Right away I told her, "I don't believe it's of God."
It was then she shared with me that her mother had been a medium and how devoted she was to her mother.
I felt like crawling under a table. I understood her devotion and how it would seem almost like a betrayal for her to acknowledge that her mother was wrong, and not serving God as they both thought. For months, I berated myself and had even thought of using the incident to write a story about evangelizing and how we need to be more sensitive to get to know the person's spiritual background first and then proceed with drawing them to the Lord. I felt I had done things backward and agonized for months regarding this.
But God is good and He reassured me that she had been evangelized many times and knew the gospel, but had a problem with needing to be in control.
Months ago she stopped by my home to show me a poem she had written. She smiled and I could sense the Lords presence on her, drawing her to Him. The poems were all about Christ! She seemed pleased and anxious to share. I nodded and smiled, but said little else. In hindsight, should I have launched into evangelizing her? Instead, she stayed and had some lunch with my mother and me. It was an afternoon of just showing her love. Isn't that a part of evangelizing? My mother gave her a lamp she admired and some books from her collection. One book was an antique. She smiled even more broadly when she left.
I was supposed to see Diane once again this upcoming week at a different writers group she attended. She was president. We spoke on the phone and she gave me the directions and information about the gathering. I so looked forward to seeing her as I had become fond of her. She had a way of making me laugh with some of her insights and I wanted to see her new group. I had hopes that it would spark my mother to do the writing she had always wanted to do.
But it was not to be. Diane would no longer be going to that group and would no longer be the supporter and encourager of so many writers. She leaves a big hole in so very many hearts as she was much loved and appreciated.
So is she or isn't she with Jesus? Did I blow it?
The Bible tells us that one plants, another waters and that we are in Christ Jesus by His doing. His doing, not ours.
I have been plagued in the past when I freted because someone I witnessed to just wasn't "getting it", as if it was all up to me. I would get discouraged. But then one day it would be like heaven itself came down upon the person. God would just swoop down and bring them into the kindgdom, quite apart from anything I did. I was in awe when this happened and humbled.
I had my part but it was clearly not all up to me. That would push God out of the picture and directly contradict His word that says clearly we are in Christ Jesus by His doing.
We each had a part. I had my part to live the Christian walk before them, love them, plant seeds of the gospel, and also sharing my own testimony when I felt prompted. God had His part, the power to bring them in--in His timing, in His way. And they had their part which was to respond, make a choice, something only they could do.
I pray that Diane responded to you Lord and Your face shines upon her even now.
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I also think of the many people who are no longer an active part of my life with whom I could have shared the love of God. But now, I've decided to pray for them to get saved wherever they are cause it's our duty to bring them to Christ. Nice piece.