The familiarity of stepping inside the quaint church brought with it a flood of memories. Scanning about the sanctuary nothing really seemed to have changed much at all over the last fifteen years except for the pews looking as if they were in desperate need of refinishing while the stained and faded carpet was frayed in various spots.
The creek of the entry door interrupted Jonathan’s recollections as his brother Roger entered.
“It’s good to see you Jonathan,” he stated, walking toward his brother.
“It’s good to see you too Rog,” Jonathan replied as they met and embraced. Jonathan continued, “So what’s going on? You wanted to meet here because you really needed to talk to me tonight about something?”
“Well, why don’t we have a seat,” Roger commented gesturing to the pew before concluding “where Mom used to sit.”
The two brothers took their seats. Jonathan perched expectantly upon the edge of the pew as Roger leaned back and exhaled before commenting, “Can you believe Mom and Dad have been gone for fifteen years already?”
“I got to tell you Rog, I still to this day don’t understand why God did it,” Jonathan bitterly replied.
“I don’t understand why either, but you know what? Who really knows why God does what He does you know?” We have to take it on faith and ask Him to help us with our doubts.”
“Whoa bro, when did you go and get all religious?” Jonathan asked, stifling a laugh.
“Well, I didn’t “go and get all religious” there John. Rather, God opened my eyes and since then everything has changed. You know, I wanted to see you tonight because I’m worried about you,” Roger stated, a look of concern overtaking his face.
Jonathan quizzically replied, “Well everything is going fine with me. Works great. Kandy loves being a stay-at-home mom with the baby and John Jr. has adjusted well to being a big brother. Losing her income is tough but we’re cutting back on some things. Ya know, tightening our belts a bit.”
“Well, I am certainly glad to hear that things are well on the home-front. Truly I am, but that’s not the reason for my concern for you,” Roger replied.
Jonathan noticeably tensed up as he commented, “Ah. Please don’t tell me you had me meet you here because you wanted to get some kind of altar call moment with me. I love you and all, but I really don’t need any religious pep talk or scare tactics.”
“Jonathan, I know what you are thinking. I was right there saying the same things less than a year ago. Whenever anyone even mentioned the name of Jesus or tried to share the Gospel with me…I would just snap ya know…just see red. I would just cut them off right in mid sentence and tell them that I didn’t want to hear it, and that I didn’t need some crutch to live by or to be “saved” by some carpenter who may have not even existed. But now when I think about all that Jesus has done, and more importantly, what He has done for me…well…I still see red, but that red is His love and His blood that He shed to redeem me.”
Jonathan sat still as if in shock, noticeably contemplating and calculating his response. After a brief moment he asked, “Why tonight? Why out of the clear blue did you call me up to meet like this?”
Roger sat back against the pew and responded, “God put it on my heart today. I was praying about some things and as usual I was praying for you and your family and then this sense of urgency was just there. The voicemail I left you was right after I finished praying so that is why my message sounded like it did.”
Jonathan stood up and stated, “Ok, well I gotta get going. Came here from work. Haven’t had any dinner, and Kandy’s been home with the boys all day so I better head home. But, ah, thanks…”
Roger stood and said, “Maybe you, Kandy and the boys can come for this Sunday’s service?”
Jonathan paused from his leaving then replied, “You know what? I think we will.”
As Roger watched his brother leave and heard the creaking of the closing door, he felt a profound peace come over him as the first seeds of faith had taken root and he knew he could trust God to bring the increase.
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