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An encounter — love and acceptance

During these recent elections I was reminded of a prior election two years ago when I had a very surprising encounter.

I was driving home after work a few days before the election when I noticed a car passing me on the left. The driver began honking urgently at me. I looked over to see a woman in the passenger’s seat wearing black rimmed glasses with short black hair pointing to a printed message that she was holding up to the window for me to see.

At first glance I saw the word “Rapture” and was delighted to realize she was responding to my license plate frame message that read, “Warning - in case of rapture this car will be unmanned.”

So, I smiled brightly at my fellow believer and waved in acknowledgement.

I glanced over again to read the whole message. It read: “In case of rapture may I have your car?” The woman was still pointing and laughing at her message to me as the driver of her car pulled up ahead of me. I laughed at the message and the woman’s obvious enjoyment at delivering her message in a timely fashion.

I followed her down the highway and noted that the couple’s car made a left as I sped on past to continue on my way home.

“How funny, I chuckled. I don’t get many acknowledgements of the license plate frame, a birthday gift given from my son years previously. A fish symbol on the trunk and this frame were simple symbols of my faith to encourage my fellow traveling believers.

Then I felt a warm flush begin to creep up my neck to my cheeks.

“Wait a minute, I reflected. “This woman was mocking me and my faith in God and my scriptural belief of Jesus’ return for all Christians throughout history. She knew what the term ‘rapture’ meant and whom she was mocking. Jesus’ return and me.’

The more I thought about the whole incident the angrier I got.

“How dare she laugh at me, and even more seriously, how dare she laughed at God and His wonderful plan for a glorious reunion with all of His believers before his final judgment. Then a sick wave overcame me when I realized that not only did she know what she was mocking, all that I held dear, but she obviously had a nonchalant attitude towards God, Jesus and heaven and hell. She is lost and is going to hell. In fact she wants to go to hell. My anger and the real horror of her choice flooded my heart with anguish.

I was shocked at my burning anger and I confessed to God how I felt as I turned the corner onto my street. My fleshly response was full of wounded pride and it showed. I genuinely asked God for forgiveness for my attitude towards this woman.

“Please forgive me, Lord, I pleaded. I know you love this woman and died for her on the cross. Please send someone to love her…”

At dinner a short time later I shared with my family my “rapture” story. They laughed with me about the whole incident and thought the woman’s message was hilarious. And then they too agreed more soberly that she was indeed mocking me and the Lord.

As we cleared the table there was a knock at the door. I answered the door and was shocked to see the very same black haired woman wearing the black rimmed glasses standing right there at my front door. As she asked to come in and speak with us a moment, I took her outstretched hand and shook it firmly and gave her a warm smile. I saw no sign of recognition of me in her eyes. She had been promoting her candidate on our street. After a few moments of encouraging our family to vote for her candidate she turned to leave and again I clasped her hand and gave her another enthusiastic handshake and a friendly goodbye. She glanced back as she walked down the sidewalk and smiled.

As I shut the door behind her I recognized what the Lord had done. He had brought this woman back into my life for me to love and accept. The obvious way that the Lord worked in this instance filled my heart with such a profound joy that I thanked Him profusely for this opportunity to be a channel of His love. I think of the scripture that says, “…For it is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance.” (Romans 4:2) Maybe this tiny example of love would be a step towards her salvation someday.

It’s been two years since that evening. I haven’t seen that woman with the black rimmed glasses since then. But when the Lord brings her back to mind I remember to lift her up to Him in prayer — for Jesus to reveal Himself to her in a tangible powerful way. I hope that she won’t need my car someday, but that she will have become a fellow believer joining me and millions of others on that glorious day of the Lord’s return — the rapture.

Readers’ comments

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We have begun a Virtual Boiler Room Prayer Group every Thursday morning at 8 a.m. Every Sunday morning Charles Spurgeon preached, and a group of prayer warriors sat below his pulpit and prayed. He called them his boiler room group. The power was electrifying and people were changed. Every Thursday morning when this newspaper is distributed and read, whereever you are, if you will stop and pray with us for the readers to be touched in Spirit and Truth. See you in the Boiler Room at 8 a.m. on Thursday mornings — Betty Slade.