The "birthday season" has arrived. Saturday before last, we had two to attend. Last Saturday was another. There are more looming on the horizon. But last Saturday was a 2 for 1 party. Two of Jeremiah's classmates were having parties at Chuck E. Cheese. I happen to like Chuck E. Cheese because they don't let the kids leave without a parent, and you can see the whole place from the right seat, so the kids can run wild while I read or write (or sleep for that matter). Our Chuck E. Cheese has a new Hampton Inn next door with a STRONG Wi-Fi signal so I can actually be online while we're there. So, we showed up at Noon for the party and made our way through the ocean of children to the back corner where the parties were taking place. As we made our way back there I saw one of Rick's parents (he's one of the little boys that Jeremiah led to Christ last Thursday). That's when the feeling of trepidation hit. My mind raced as I thought of all the possible responses a parent could have to what had happened with her son at school. And most of the responses I could imagine were mildly negative to highly volatile. Am I about to get a smack down Cheerleader mom style in Chuck E. Cheese? Damage control kicked in as she made eye contact with me and headed my way (insert ominous music here).
She came over and told me that something had happened on Wednesday or Thursday of last week. I told her I was sure it was Thursday. Well, her son had gotten into the car after school that day and proceeded to tell her that he "became a Christian today." She responded to him by saying, "Well, that's nice, Honey. We're all Christians," and continued on with her check list of things she needed to get done. Rick stopped her thoughts, though, when he said, "No, really. I'm not going to Hell now. I said a prayer and gave Jesus my life and I am a REAL Christian now." As she is telling me this, I am just waiting for the "Who do you think you are..." or the "How dare you..." But she stops and tells me how grateful they are for Jeremiah and that a wonderful thing has happened. It turns out that they are all excited about Rick. His grandfather is a pastor and he's excited, too. She finishes her conversation with me telling me how excited Rick is and how he is going to be bringing his Bible to school to read with Jeremiah, and that they are grateful for Jeremiah.
I made a couple of observations afterward that I think are paramount.
1. What if her response had been negative? What would I have done? I hope that I would have been gracious and still maintained the positive of the whole encounter; and that is that a little boy came to Jesus last week. I'm sure that my kids will cause some trouble as they further the kingdom. This encounter, although a hugely positive encounter, reminded me of the reality that trouble from spreading the Gospel is coming and I need to be ready.
2. Rick's mom responded to him by saying, "We're all Christians." I've made an assumption with this family that they are believers based on the fact that they attend church on a regular basis. They are VERY nice people. Rick's dad is very outgoing and just a joy to be around. All that to say, however, if they think that everyone is a Christian, then maybe they are not and I need to be speaking Gospel truth into their lives, as well. With Rick coming to Jesus, it's the perfect time to start that conversation.
3. A more general observation I made was that not everyone will respond to the Gospel in a negative way. That's a no brainer...but you'd be surprised at how many times you make the assumption that people only respond negatively to the Gospel. I am always prepared for people to balk at the thought of Jesus, but some people actually respond in a positive way and that I need to expect both reactions, and not just the negative.
So, what are you waiting for? Go cause some trouble and be blessed by the good that will come of it!
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