The Question I Dread

I was recently on a flight and sat next two two young people. The woman was going to meet her boyfriend for vacation in a very romantic city and the man his girlfriend. As their stories unfolded, it turned out that one of those being visited was not quite yet divorced. “It is what it is,” my traveling companion said. We chatted more, and then it came. It is the question I dread, “So..., what do you do?”

The shortest time between two sentences is between the time I say, “I am a pastor” and they say, “Oh, oh.. I am so sorry.” They are not sorry that I am a pastor, but that they just told me something that they think a pastor would view as inappropriate: “I am dating a married man” kind of thing. Now, I have been around long enough that I know how to play it cool. I never say, “You are going to hell!!”, and I never say, “That’s nice!” I just say that I am not offended. Not that I am indifferent, but my role, and yours if you are a Christian, is to be a witness; not to put someone on a witness stand. There is no need for me to grill someone on their lifestyle. It just puts up a wall. Besides, non-Christians act like non-Christians. Sometimes Christians act like non-Christians! God is offended at both. The good news is Jesus paid for offenses of His people.

Back to my plane ride. I asked the woman if I could share a few thoughts. Now because she had, in her mind anyway, offended me, I think she felt obliged to let me speak, maybe expecting the hellfire speech. I spoke of my daughter who had committed to not say, “I love you” to a man until he put a ring on her finger. Her eyes lit up. I asked her to think about what that might look like for her. I said that I normally encourage people to wait at least a year after they are divorced to begin dating because it gives them time to recover. She frowned at that one. Most importantly, in front of the man who was sitting between us, I shared that she was made in the image of God, and she had worth; she was a “catch.” She smiled, and her eyes brightened.

So where was Jesus? How did she not get “saved” on the way to Paris? Jesus was and is interceding. Rest assured, the Holy Spirit will apply His work to hearts of the elect. How? Here is where you get involved. At the end of the flight, she sincerely thanked me for “my” wisdom, and she asked for my email as she gave me hers. The trip is not over for her. I have an email.

Now, I would love your thoughts on what to write to her. Post away! Then pray for her. By the way, can I encourage you to engage with people you meet? You don’t have to be going to Paris. No frontal assaults permitted, and you have a great advantage in that you do not have to say you are a pastor.