In which there is the most important letter (pt4)

by Craig on October 26, 2011

I had to share the gospel with her - I need to see her in heaven. source

My mom would not be on this earth much longer…

and I asked everything I could
and listened and listened for hours…
over days and days.
So I knew my mom knew the gospel…
but not.

And only after the questions…this…
a letter, from son to mother…
one only this particular son could write…
to this particular mom…

This is part 4 of the letter – it began here.

…and I know you’ve heard of his Grace…
But Mom, I don’t know if you’ve accepted His gift…
it’s a conscious choice…
to accept the gift…
and live with our heart toward Him.

We need God…
there’s something inside that drives us towards him…
a God shaped vacuum.

I had to share the gospel with her - I need to see her in heaven. source

and here’s the gospel Mom…
and even though I know you’ve heard it…
please consider it anew – now?

God is separated from the children he loves by sin.
We try to cross the divide by doing good things…
but we can’t do enough of them…
or do them good enough.

The whole world has been lost and has tried to find a way back.
A million million different attempts, different paths, different gods…

There is a way that seems right to a person, but leads to death. (Proverbs 14:12)

The Bible, the Bible that deep down I know you trust…
it tells us that the only God is the God of Israel…
and he has been revealed most fully in Jesus…
and Mom, he is the only way…
I know you know this verse…

I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)

Remember that trip you took us on, to the drive through animal preserve?
You thought it was about a half hour away…
you kept telling us we were almost there.
I know only now how much you must have worried every mile.
Hours and hours later you still kept telling us…
“almost there, almost there”.

Hoping, hoping, hoping…
driving and driving and driving…
you weren’t headed in the wrong direction…
you just needed to keep going…
and turn at the right time.

And we arrived just before the park closed…
and there were lions and bears and giraffes…

She knew the bible verses and jargon - but not Jesus. I needed to share the gospel in a new and different way...source

right out the window…
and you, who had been driving five hours non-stop…
drove us through the park.

Mom, I know your heart is headed in the right direction…
and you aren’t five hours away…
just one decision.

And now Mom,
now is the time to turn…

“In an acceptable time I heard you,
and on the day of salvation I helped you.”
Behold, now is a very acceptable time;
behold, now is the day of salvation. (Heb 6:2)

 

And tomorrow the letter finishes…

tomorrow…

please come back.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Felecia October 26, 2011 at 11:41 am

I hang on your every word because I am having this conversation with my parents.
And it’s tough. It hurts. I ache with want for them to know what I know – feel what I feel – love who I love. I can see their souls yearning. My Mom’s heart pulling – she so wants to believe yet somehow seems afraid. My Dad harder – more analytical – more distrusting. I shouldn’t expect him to listen to me any differently than he has all my years – he doesn’t – not really.
And of course I stumble, and ask forgiveness for my bumbling, and pray that the Holy Spirit will speak through me to them – to their hearts (noun not verb) – to their souls. Pray that God will continue His work with them.
Craig, thank you for opening your soul – your life up for our consumption. Trust that I will hold your words softly … a web spinning in my brain. A guide to help me move forward and back off. To treat these two souls with the love and respect they deserve.
As always … Bless you.
Felecia

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Craig October 26, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Felicia, there’s a song by Margaret Becker – I’ve been thinking of putting it in – but it’ll make everybody cry – so I haven’t. Just saying the title makes me tear up for those in my family who don’t know our Lord. It’s called, “I don’t want to be without you.” I know your hurt, I know your ache. If your analytical dad has any questions – let me know – no one has had more doubts than me. Make sure my friend – to ask all the questions – really understand where they are – no Gospel until we really understand where our loved ones are – I am learning that through this. And in the end – it IS God who tugs on their spirit. And finally, just thank you – just – thank you. And God bless you Felicia – you live up to your name ツ

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Katie October 26, 2011 at 12:51 pm

I have been having these conversations with my Oma, she is 94, she has heard the TRUTH many times from many of us grandkids. Yet she still sees it choosing between her parents – one was Catholic and one was Jewish, so she says God knows her heart and thinks she will go to heaven and be with Jesus because she has been a good person. Even though we have gently corrected her and talked with her, all we do now is pray and love her and talk with her if it arises again.

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Craig October 26, 2011 at 1:46 pm

God bless you. Katie for having those conversations – so challenging. As a man – because men always want to rush in with solutions instead of just understanding and feeling – my brain screams out “book of Hebrews book of Hebrews” – if I’m going to be a Jew then I have to be a Jew – and I have to follow the Law of Moses – and if I mess up the Law – my fate is up in the air at the very best. That’s if I’m a Jew. but I’m also a Jew if I believe the gospel – if I believe that perfection of life under the law of Moses is necessary to live forever with the Lord who gave the law to Moses. And the perfect life was lived – and the sacrifice that God set up through Moses has been made – once for all – and we are all Jewish. If we are Christian – we are Jewish – we just believe in the Jewish Messiah – that’s all. Keep asking questions – ask all the questions so you know just exactly where she is – and go from there. Sorry for the unasked for advice. I just really have a heart for this right now. God bless you. Katie!

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Katie October 26, 2011 at 6:43 pm

Yeah… we have tried explaining to her that Jesus was Jewish and Christianity was a sect off of Judaism. And we have thought Hebrews also. :) Great minds thinking alike. It just is not my choice (which is what I want it to be). I keep asking and talking and loving and praying. I wish I could choose for her but I can’t. I can see that your heart is totally in this type of conversation. Thank you for that!

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A. October 26, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Craig, finally catching some time here but so grateful for what you have been sharing in this post…and your mom-wow, what tears! It breaks my heart to read these words. So grateful you are her son!!! So grateful you were there for her!

You mentioned, in an earlier post that the Gospel needs to be individualized for those we love. How true! And, I think, for those we hardly know as well. You also mentioned it needed to be in the right language…that is so true as well. I am trying to grow in my ability to use the ‘right language’ all the time in my communications. I am trying to grow in my ability to abide in the right frame of mind and heart all the time. Such different fruit depending on the condition of the heart/mind!

Like Cora, I would love for the last chapter to already be ‘up’, but will be patient. Thank you, Craig, for fleshing this out and for taking the time to do so. It does need several blogs. I experienced a ‘standard Gospel’ gauntlet a few days ago and it got intense but showed all involved, hopefully, the need to avoid jargon, to tailor the words to the individual. Otherwise, the words don’t fit-no matter how perfect they may seem.

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Craig October 26, 2011 at 1:51 pm

A. I haven’t stopped the tears from your last comment – so two comments in one day – I almost didn’t read this one ツ but thankfully – this one is far less teary. A guy can only cry so much you know – then he has to turn in his card ツ I’m learning A., I’m learning by the writing, I’m learning by the reading, I’m learning in this comment section – you know, I always learn from my comments. I’m only sharing this letter – and this experience I had with my mom BECAUSE of the comments. I heart blogging far more than I thought it would. God bless you A.

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Martha Orlando October 26, 2011 at 4:18 pm

The God-shaped hole in our hearts that only He can fill . . . this photo of the heart with the cross was so perfect, so moving, as were the touching words to your mother.

Love overflows in this post like streams of living water. Truths are as transparent as glass.

You always make me look, hard, at my own walk with the Lord when I read your words. It’s as if the “check engine” light in my heart comes on and I need a tune up. :)

I’ll be back tomorrow . . .

Blessings your way, my friend!

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Craig October 26, 2011 at 7:37 pm

I KNOW! I heart that picture! And all this is is just asking questions – meeting someone where they’re at – and simplifying – and not being all egg-heady about theology – just person-to-person gospel – Jesus kind of gospel. I take no credit for it – none at all. Thank you Martha – truly – thank you, and God bless and keep you!

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Martha Orlando October 26, 2011 at 9:16 pm

God bless and keep you, too!

You are helping me to NOT be an egghead.

We are going through some tough times, here at home. Your inspiration keeps me going, keeps me writing, keeps me loving what the Lord has asked me to do.

Never doubt the power of your God-given words!

You are a blessing!

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Craig October 27, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Martha, I don’t know the details of your tough times – I do know that I care – and I don’t like you’re going through them. And I just finished praying – God knows the details. And I consider it an honor to pray – and I’m so glad that I got a chance to. Thank you, thank you. And I doubt the power of my words all the time – I don’t doubt so much that God gives them to me – I doubt that I use them very well – or well enough – those old negative voices, you know? But I’m working on them! And you, YOU are a blessing too.

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Debbie October 27, 2011 at 2:02 am

This is so touching and is changing how I think about sharing the gospel . . . Him. I appreciate you so much. Blessings and peace, dear Craig!

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Craig October 27, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Debbie, it’s changing how I think about sharing the gospel too – and to think, I only went in this direction because I read my comment section. I heart my comment section. It’s like footnotes to my post – except written by really wise friends. Blessings to you to Debbie!

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