In which it’s from God, through son, to mother (pt2)

by Craig on October 18, 2011

What is the best way to share the gospel with a loved one?source

This is part two of the most important conversation I’ve ever had.
It’s about salvation…
and my mom.

If you haven’t read part one, please click here

and now part two.

I sat on the edge of the bed, she sat propped up on pillows. Toward the end this is where she spent most of her time. Seminary meant a few hours a day of classes – and about 6 hours of studying – many spent right next to here in these last months.

And the gospel needed sharing…

but first…

questions.

What did my mom think about God, the Bible, and eternal life?

And so – an ongoing Q and A…

Mom…

Are you a religious person?

I believe in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
That they exist.
They are here.
I believe in the Holy Bible.
I believe I’m saved.

I had a strong upbringing.  I was born Catholic, and changed to Baptist, and had a much stronger training there.  I was raised Baptist from about ages 8-16.

That was the Southern Baptist group home I threatened to run away to at the age of five – and made it 30 feet outside the front door…for a few hours…another story. You’d think the gospel would be clear, given that first answer…but…

Is religion important?

Yes it is.  I don’t care what religion anyone is brought up in as long as they have a religion.

(See)

Is God perfect, all powerful, all-knowing?

Yes. Yes. (a most definitive yes)

Does God care about the world?
Well, I hope so.  It’s in a mess right now.

And with Sara being gone from this earth, I remember how easily and confidently – and differently she would have answered these questions. My mom was really so near – yet so far.

What is the best way to share the gospel with a loved one?source

 

Is God active in the world?

Well, he’s helping the ill get better.
Guiding those who aren’t sure what direction they are headed in.
His presence is there for everybody to talk to him…

but I can’t understand why there is so much evil.

The first answer, I think, was for her, the second for me, the third for us both, the last…the lingering doubts.

Does God actually care about YOU?

I certainly hope he’s caring about me, because my fate is in God’s hands right now.

Brave, resigned, but not confident.

Does God answer prayer?

Well it takes a while for some of the prayers that I’ve made to be answered.   It’ll come eventually.

Everything?

No (and a heavy, slow, pensive, and sorrowful…) not everything.

We continued this interview…

bits at a time over the course of weeks…

I never knew what she believed until asking these questions…

We have to ask these questions. No?

I know I have just barged in with answers before without knowing what a person knew or believed…

So wrong…

so wrong.

And there is more to this most important conversation…

please come back here tomorrow…

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Felecia October 18, 2011 at 10:14 am

Powerful. Emotional. Raw. Love. I believe God has brought me to Florida to help bring my parents back to the Him … by seeing Him through me and my behavior. Sometimes I’m good at it and sometimes I fail. But that will be an upcoming post for me. I’ll be back tomorrow Craig. I know I can glean some understanding from you to assist me in my own walk.
Blessings in Christ,
Felecia

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Craig October 18, 2011 at 10:37 am

thank you Felicia, the point of life and death – that’s when believing in eternity becomes critically important. I just said a prayer for you and your parents – of course you’ll mess up – that’s what we do – were human. But just love – then I think my experience with my mom – that really might help. So much thought went into these questions – and into these answers – that’s the extra nudge that seminary gives – and getting a grade for evangelizing your mom. That, plus love, plus the urgency. And I didn’t know until she could no longer speak, whether or not she said yes to God. Thank you again Felicia, and God bless you.

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Cora October 18, 2011 at 10:39 am

Craig, for you to share this must be hard. I feel your heart here as son asks mother those most important of questions that can ever be asked. But putting the emotional burden aside for a moment, I must say, I love the “backdoor”, interview style of bringing up the topic and following through the conversation. Maybe backdoor is a bad term, but it does give a “reason” for the conversation, a project or assignment, so to speak. Sometimes, it is so hard to just blurt it out.
I love that you got to know your Mom’s heart and soul. Looking forward to tomorrow. Always waiting here!

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Craig October 18, 2011 at 10:46 am

it really was the perfect “cover” – and it was the only apologetics course in the seminary schedule – and to happen to be in that class – with that teacher – with this assignment – at this most critical time – well – probably all just random chance, right? ツwow, is God ever brilliant! I think the thing to remember here, at least for me, is just to ask the questions, understand where a person is at, before we clobber them with the four spiritual laws – or anything like that. And everything that you guys said yesterday – is percolating away in my mind. God bless you Cora.

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Kristin October 18, 2011 at 8:16 pm

So glad you had this conversation. I had a smiliar one with my dad and I went in with a “cover” too, explaining the evangelism class I had gone through and was asked to practice it on loved ones. The “practice lasted about 10 minutes, but it lead into a 2 hour conversation that left me feeling assured when he died less than a year from then he went to be with Jesus.
We all need to step up and ask those questions. . .in love! Wouldn’t it be great to have all our loved ones confident at the end? . . .or is it just the beginning 😉

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Craig October 19, 2011 at 11:47 am

Kristin, “undercover” is a really handy thing! I had forgotten these questions until writing of sharing the gospel recently – and being reminded – by my comments – oh how I heart my comments – that it’s relationship before sharing. That’s when I remembered this conversation – that’s why I’m glad I preserved the conversation all these years – I’m learning now by remembering. God bless you Kristin.

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Katie October 18, 2011 at 9:13 pm

I so understand… my stepbrother had this type of conversation with his mother before she died and before hospice was called in. She became a Christian. I remember all her questions she had as I was a young teenager who just became a Christian and not being able to answer them and becoming discouraged when she challenged everything, so I resolved to NOT talk with her. I prayed. I had others pray. I was over joyed when she became a Christian but so full of anger due to past pain and blame I put on her, but God worked through her becoming a Christian for me to learn to love her before she died. My favorite memory was after hospice was called in and I went to say goodbye — she was so out of due to the heavy medication and pain her body was in. I was able to pray God show her that I have forgiven her, even though she can’t hear me anymore (no hearing aids). She said my name (when she had been unable to and looked me in the eye). I hugged her and realized I loved her.

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Craig October 19, 2011 at 11:56 am

oh, how hard that must of been Katie, I can feel it! And I have shared the gospel with my father – the one who caused so much damage to me – but I wonder sometimes if I shared it with the right heart. Oh, how our brokenness just gets in the way! And your miracle – the one that happened at the very end – I got one – just like that! I’m smiling now that we shared that little thing. God bless you Katie!

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Debbie October 19, 2011 at 8:18 am

This is so important to me right now. My mom . . .I don’t know what she believes and if I just assume, and assume wrong, I could shut her down and turn her off. I don’t want to do that. Thank you so much and God bless you as you keep following His lead.

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Craig October 19, 2011 at 11:59 am

Debbie, these questions, an awful lot of thought went into them. It all ends in a letter that I wrote to her – that’s coming up. These questions were asked over time because of my mom’s condition – but a short time because it was an assignment. I think a good approach for those that we love is to drop these questions on them every once in a while – and listen really closely to the answers – and jot them down – and when we get them all compiled – then write a letter. Still thinking on that – let me know if you have any inputツ God bless you Debbie.

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