Recently, I volunteered to do the “noon run” drive of the children to school, which normally another person does (we have our children enrolled in Life Christian Academy, a super grade school affiliated with the Life Center, a Pentecostal Church that we have attended on many occasions).
In picking up one of the children, I had to go his baby-sitter’s place, a home that I had never been to before. I was certainly not early, but neither was I critically late. Yet the baby-sitter was not waiting at the front door with the little boy, like she was supposed to.
I didn’t know which apartment the baby-sitter lived in. All I knew was that it was “somewhere in that single storey apartment building.” That left me with having to check a whole bunch of apartments, by ringing the bells of each one of them until I found the right one. I didn’t feel I could wait long. Otherwise, the boy, as well as two others (including my daughter), would be late for school. So I started knocking on doors.
As expected, I had to apologize to several people for interrupting them. One by one, I would say, “I’m sorry … I guess I have the wrong place.” (In one case I had the chance to share the gospel briefly with a couple whom I felt the Lord saying to me, “Share with these people. I felt a real blessing in that.)
After having gone through most of the doors that I could find, I eventually made my way outside again, not having found the person I was looking for. I met a man outside, who was coming in, and I asked him, “Do you know of a such-and-such a background of family living in this building?” For the boy that I was picking up was from a particular cultural background and I figured that the baby-sitter might just be from that same background. The man said, “Yes, at the back of the building.” He led me there and, sure enough, that was the right door (I didn’t even know that the “back part” of the building existed before he led me there).
Having arrived at the door, there were numerous older and younger children there, who told me that yes, the boy was at this place, but he was currently in the washroom, being helped by the baby-sitter. Admittedly, because I was in a rush, that agonized me a little. I felt a sense of responsibility to “urge” the baby-sitter to “pick up the speed”. Something in me said, “Press her to move quickly,” so I did. “I’ll be leaving in 60 seconds. I have to go!” I said. Within about 49 seconds the babysitter was there, with the child.
But the baby-sitter never showed me her face. Instead, she hid behind the door! The other children were still around. The boy was getting his outdoor clothes on. But the baby-sitter would not present herself to me! I felt that what was appropriate at this point was simply to say, “Thank-you” to this woman, and be on my way. Something “in” me (I believe it was the Holy Spirit) was urging me to at least face this woman square in the eye, and say, “Thank-you.” That was the courteous thing to do.
The woman said to me, however, (from behind the door), “I’m sorry. You are a man. I am a woman. I cannot look at you!”
It was then that I sensed the terror of this woman’s life. It was more than the fact that she was not willing to face me. It was the way in which she did it. It was with a sense of terror and desperation that I sensed her saying, “I’m sorry … I cannot … I am a woman.”
And at that point, my heart went out to her. For I knew that she was trying her very best to obey the “rules” of her religion, which could not save her or promise her an eternal, loving, relationship with God as Father. Nor could obeying these rules provide her any forgiveness for her sins. The only One that could provide her with the forgiveness that she needed was Jesus, who died for her on the cross.
I felt led to say to her, “Jesus loves you. Jesus wants to give you peace. Jesus wants you to trust him. Trust Jesus. Put your faith in him. Jesus died for you on the cross!”
But that was essentially all I was able to say, before the woman told me, “I’m sorry, I don’t want to talk about religion.”
In a way, it was a sad close to our conversation, because I knew that unless something radical happened in this woman’s life, that she would not enjoy the peace, and the love, and the forgiveness, that Jesus promised to all those who would put their faith in him.
“I am come that they might have life” Jesus had said (John 10:10b). But she was not enjoying this life. Perhaps you, too, as you read this message, realize that you are not enjoying your life like you ought to. If Jesus is not your Lord and Savior, you can invite him into your life right now:
“Lord, I believe that you died for me. I don’t want to be enslaved to a set of religious rules which cannot save me. You came to set me free from sin and bondage. I repent of my sins and ask you to make me a new creation in Christ. Please forgive me of my sins, come into my life, and be my personal Lord and Savior. For it is in Christ’s name that I pray. Amen.”