In which there’s a shiny new gospel sharin’ system (p6)

by Craig on November 17, 2011


To the person I know, but who doesn’t know Our Lord.

If I love first, and love well…
and represent God in a way different and better than the world.

If I ask you the questions…
designed to show me where you are spiritually…
and don’t even get to the “are you saved” questions…
until I’ve proven my worthiness to go there.

And I find you truly don’t know the gospel…
I need next, to lay it out for you…
I’ll write you a letter.

It’ll be your choice to open it right away or tuck it in a drawer until you’re ready. It’s written specifically for you, it could have been written for nobody else. I’ve written it because I don’t want to be without you.

This I might say as I hand the letter to them. If they want it read then and there I might read it to them. I’d kind of prefer it not be read silently – by them – in front of me. That’s awkward, and I really want to know the words have bounced off their head and touched spirit.


It wasn’t until days before she died that my mom told me…
in the best way she could, because she could no longer speak…
that she accepted Our Lord’s grace.

And only then because I leaned in…and whispered…
“Mom, you may have decided already…but I need to know.”

She didn’t take the letter to hospital with her for her last week of life on this earth. But I know she read it – and not just once. And that’s the way it should be – a public thing when the time is right – but a private thing, too, for someone to work out personally with the God of everything.

A letter makes this possible.

One last word about the questions, by the way. When asking them, it’s important to be a good reporter. A good reporter asks follow ups that may not be in the “script”.


The love shown…
questions asked…
answers in hand…
now it’s kind of like a High School term paper…
everything gets put together.


It’s time now, not to write the letter, but to craft it. It’s the difference between, say, grabbing a random pair of shoes off the shelf at the store and giving them to you as present – and learning your tastes, and watching your eyes as we walk by the shelf, and seeing where they’ve lit up, and knowing what you want, and getting. just. that.

Crafting the letter – and writing a term paper – they both kind of follow the same steps. I remember my term paper “steps”…don’t you?

•  choose a topic

•  craft a thesis

•  identify a variety of information sources

•  take efficient notes

•  begin and organize all the research

•  use parenthetical documentation (bonus points if you know what this means ツ)

•  prepare a Works Cited page

•  draft and edit, and edit, and edit.

And turn it in on time.

Theory tuned into practice…


please come back.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Martha Orlando November 17, 2011 at 10:34 am

I love how you compared crafting a letter to researching and organizing a term paper! And, no, I don’t get any bonus points today. Those term papers were done many long years ago . . .
Loved the post as always. :)
Blessings, Craig!


Craig November 17, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Martha, the letter really does need to be crafted – if we really listen then we have all of the research – but it has to be pulled together – so that the letter meets them right where they are – and that’ll take a little work – those term papers took work – and this is more important. Thank you Martha – oh, and my term paper was handed in probably about the same time as yours – except mine was late ツ God bless you Martha.


A. November 17, 2011 at 12:43 pm

This is very good, Craig. I am pondering quite a bit throughout the days, and thinking about how I need to apply what I am learning here.


Craig November 17, 2011 at 3:18 pm

A. me to – how am I going to apply what I’m writing here – if I don’t apply it – well, why bother writing it. Thank you A. God bless you!


Debbie November 18, 2011 at 2:00 am

I’m pondering with A and you! :) Craig, I have someone dear who won’t answer questions . . .deflects, mocks, says whatever they think I want to hear, lies. I love them. So I am thinking about this and thinking that a letter might be best because of this. The loved one won’t have to be defensive or offensive. But, I won’t have all of the important things you’ve talked about as I write. So maybe just pour out my heart, that I love them and don’t want to take a chance that they don’t know, have never heard. I know a few things . . .they let a few things slip out. Today I was remembering this, that they said they never really “felt anything” as far as God was concerned. Any ideas, advice, thoughts? Thank you and God bless you for doing this series!


Craig November 18, 2011 at 11:13 am

Debbie, that could work too – I think the thing about a letter – the most important thing, maybe – is that they can keep it – and just let them know that if they ever do want the answers to the questions – if they ever do want a good explanation of the gospel – it’s there in the letter – just read it. No pressure. They can put it away and read it whenever the time is right. That you know there is more to life than this life – and you just don’t want to be without them – that should be enough to get them to keep the letter – and then – it’s in their hands. And a big part of the letter that I haven’t really gotten to yet – and you can see if you read what my mom – is just the personal touches – examples from life, shared experiences and such – those things will make the letter personal – and being a personal, not off the rack letter – that’s a big thing. You have more at your disposal than you think.God bless you Debbie!


Layla Payton November 19, 2011 at 9:43 pm

I just keep thinking about all of the opportunities I have probably blown in the past. I am so glad that the Lord works with me, WHILE I learn.


Craig November 20, 2011 at 6:01 am

Amen Layla, if he didn’t work with us WHILE we learn, we never be worked with, always so much to learn, always so much growth to take place – we’re getting there ツ


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