I was always the one up and ready to head out the door for Sunday morning service. My sister Jena, on the other hand, was always lagging behind. Either she had forgotten to unplug the curling iron, walk the dog or couldn’t find her keys.
“I’m going to leave without you,” I’d say. Though I never had the heart to do it.
“So then go,” she’d reply. And then quickly run out to meet me.
Besides for Jena’s battle to keep good timing, she was a well-rounded good person. Not ‘good’ by merely the world’s standards but ‘good’ in a godly sense. She somehow always made the time to pray before work in the morning, leave worship and praise music playing throughout the house, she’d lend a helping hand before you could even ask, and offer a kind word to everyone she encountered. Though we had our share of words from time to time, she was always first to approach me and make peace.
It’s been six years since I moved out, and can still hear Jena singing in the kitchen.
“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me…”
Perhaps in her own heart it were some insequrities or a seldom bad temper that God saved Jena from, but outwardly, she never had a problem with drugs, alcohol or excessive partying. I’m not sure I ever even heard her curse, and although I wasn’t a rebel I was not saint either. As much as I tried to understand, I couldn’t understand what drew Jena to Jesus to begin with. We weren’t raised in church, my mother had tried to instill in us the mentality that “all good people go to heaven,” and sometimes that sounded pretty believeable. As my questions about Jena arose, I had to call her.
“What’s up sis?”
“I have a question for you. What made you choose Jesus?”
“Is that what you think about on your afternoons off. Well it isn’t that I chose him but he chose me. That day when I was sixteen and entered that youth service, I knew I He had been looking for me.”
“But it wasn’t like you were out at a party, you were probably home only minutes before, reading or something.”
“Yeah you are probably right, but all the reading in the world and baking or whatever it is I do to occupy my time, couldn’t bring me salvation. I was just as in need of Jesus as the addict or anyone else. And the moment that I believe I was any better, is the moment I deceive myself.”
As we hung up the phone I thought about Jena’s words and the way she treasured her salvation. She kept good church attendance, but even more so, she knew the importance of first making sure that the church began in our home by living by God’s word and being an example.
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