Two weeks ago I visited a small town nestled on the shores of the Pacific Ocean in British Columbia, Canada. The stunning beauty of the town and the huge ancient trees that surrounded it kept me in awe. In addition, there were many small islands that many retirees perched on to finish their life in natural beauty. My host was 90 years old and, although crusty, quite charming and intelligent. He is known to read a book a week and he hates fiction. No memory loss with him, but a loss of the most important aspect of my life, Jesus. He doesn’t believe and he can give you a round of reasons that on the surface make sense but are convenient push backs for anyone who has not read the Bible.
I have read the Bible and numerous books on Christianity and I felt at a loss of how to talk to this man who is at death’s door. What do I say or share that he will listen to? How do I approach him? I prayed for the Holy Spirit to give me the words and yet no words came to me.
My children have left the church as a result of the liberal education they received in college and their disenchantment with Christians. I have so often been challenged by what I should say them to get them to see my love for Jesus and why He is the center of my life. And most importantly, how I can feel His joy through suffering and loss. How do I share my core with those that don’t want to hear it?
I think of those that have helped me and lifted me up when I was down and I think of the words in Frederick Buechner’s novel Brendan:
Pushing down hard with his fists on the table top he heaved himself up to where he was standing. For the first time, we saw he had one leg. It was gone from the knee joint down. He was hopping sideways to reach for his stick in the corner when he lost his balance. He would have fallen in a heap if Brendan hadn’t leaped forward and caught him.
“I’m as crippled as the dark world,” Gildas said
“If it comes to that, which one of us isn’t, my dear friend?” Brendan said.
Gildas with but one leg. Brendan, sure he’d misspent his whole life entirely. Me that had left my wife to follow him and buried our only boy. The truth of what Brendan said stopped all our mouths. We was crippled all of us. For a moment or two, there was no sound but the bees.
“To lend each other a hand when we’re falling,” Brendan said. “Perhaps that’s the only work that matters in the end.”
I’m not so sure that what I am looking for is not some wondrous words of wisdom on Jesus or the Bible but just a helping hand to give. Maybe in the love that we express, we open the door to questions and love back. Maybe in time, Jesus will open that door and we just go in and share our own journey with Him. I don’t have the answers. Just a lot of questions.
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This is a book about transforming your family legacy – both today and in generations to come. It is for Christian families who want to eliminate estate and capital gains taxes, maintain their current lifestyle, pass on an appropriate inheritance to their heirs, maximize giving to worthy ministries, create healthier family relationships and leave a lasting legacy to impact God’s kingdom.
By Joe Sturniolo
Christian Family Legacy and Wealth Planning
Joe believes that stronger families are the vehicle God uses to bring about significant impact for His Kingdom.