I met Abby on a plane trip this last weekend. I offered to help her 4' 1" female partner lift her large suitcase into one of the overhead bins on the plane and she was very grateful.
Within a few minutes Abby and I plunged into a long conversation about places to see in Colorado (she and her companion are recent transplants into our great state.) I told her all about Rocky Mountain National Park, Golden Gate State Park and, one of our biggest secrets, The Great Sand Dunes (largest sand dunes in North America!)
As our conversation turned more serious Abby shared with me that she had a degenerative joint disease. Her bones often spontaneously popped out of joint. As a result she walked with a cane and was very aware of her physical movements, any of which could cause a bone to pop out of place. Abby was working in the medical community as an advocate for children across America who had the same disease.
I really came to appreciate this courageous young woman. Although physically weakened by her condition, she had a strong heart and a positive attitude.
Soon the conversation shifted to spiritual things and she confessed to me that her stereotypes of Christians and Christianity were pretty negative. Although she had gone to two youth groups as a teen (one mainline and one, in her words, "extreme") her attitude toward religion was frayed by experience.
So I reframed the Christian message as an epic romantic novel. I talked about the romance beginning in the Garden of Eden between holy God and newly-minted humanity. They walked, talked and danced with their Creator in the lush beauty of Eden. It was picture perfect until the Great Interrupter, Satan himself, scratched the needle off the record and brought the dance to a halt. Satan tempted, humankind sinned and the dance came to a screeching halt. Since the big break up nicknamed "The Fall" humanity has been running from it's dance partner.
I shared with Abby how I had sinned. Abby agreed that she too had sinned. I told her how no amount of "good deeds" could ever remove the stain of our sin before a holy and perfect God, that it was like putting white frosting on a burnt cake. She smiled at the analogy and I could tell that she agreed.
I went on to explain that "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son so that whosoever believes in him will not perish but has everlasting life." I shared how God sent his own Son Jesus into the world to conquer sin through his death and then conquer death through his resurrection.
"Right now on this plane Jesus wants to dance with you" I explained to Abby. "All you must do is reach out to him in faith, trusting in him to forgive you for all your sins and he will, not only forgive you, but give you his own righteousness."
I encouraged her to go home and read the book of John (she had already read The Life in 6 Words book while sitting next to me on the plane.) Abby said she was looking forward to read this powerful account of the life and death of Jesus.
Then I asked her the question that made her stop and think,"Is there anything holding you back from putting your faith in Jesus right now?"
She hesitated for a moment and then said, "Not really, but I'd like to read the book of John first and then decide."
Pray for Abby as she reads the book of John this week and considers whether or not to reach out to grab the hand of Jesus so that she can begin the dance she was created to enjoy. Pray that God illuminates her mind to the Gospel and quickens her soul through His Spirit.
Some of you may ask me, "What about her being gay?" My answer is this: First comes salvation and then comes sanctification, first comes a renewed heart and then comes a renewed life, first comes the seed planted and then comes the fruit. When we come to Jesus in faith he begins a work of transformation in each of us and does not give up until that work is complete (Philippians 1:6.) He will do that for Abby and for you.
By the way, if you've never put your faith in Jesus, your dance partner is waiting. Grab his hand through faith and let the dance begin!