I write this letter to you so you can know my story and the truth I face.
A few years ago my husband and I fell on financial hard times. He couldn't get a job. My job only kept food on the table. There were no extras. We couldn't buy clothes. For some reason the bank didn't foreclose.
One day a gentle, sweet, older woman came to our door. She had heard of our situation and wanted to help. "No need to be embarrassed," she said. "Many others were having hard times too." So, she handed us four Wal Mart sacks and left.
Inside were hand-made pants and a shirt for my husband. I found two home-made print dresses. By the time I wiped my tears away the lady was gone. I didn't get to say thanks. I felt bad.
Then, three days ago, I was visiting my neighbor, Sue. She told me of an older lady, a Jesus follower, had died. Sue said the woman had come to her home while her husband, Jack, was suffering from cholera, and had given them clothes. It sounded so familiar. I asked about the woman's appearance. It was her. Sue said her home was four blocks away.
I rushed to her house to see what I could do. When I got there, they were waiting for a man named Peter to get there (relative??). I told the people what she had done for me and my neighbor. Several said Dor had done the same for them. Others said Tabby just wanted to help others. I went into the bedroom where they had her 'laid out'. It was her. I cried hard as I left, even though others were saying she was in a better place with Jesus (whoever he is).
Are they crazy? Nothing about death makes for anything 'better'.
Why is it that the good people die?
Then today, I saw a sweet, gentle woman carrying some Wal Mart sacks. "No," I thought, "It can't be." From behind it looked just like her.
I found myself walking toward her. Her name came to mind. "Dor?" I called. She turned. It was the same caring eyes. She had the same upturned nose, thin eyebrows, radiant smile, and chipped front tooth. "Dor, is that you?" I asked.
"Sure is," she said.
"But the last time I saw you, forgive me, you were 'laid out' on your bed. You were dead."
"Sure was," she replied.
"So how can you be standing here talking with me," I heard myself asking.
"My fellow-disciple, Peter, got there. They say he ran everyone out of my bedroom. Then he prayed in the name of Jesus for my spirit to come back to my body. Next thing I new, there was Peter in my bedroom! I shushed him out of the room. Can't have people talking bad about me, you know. When the people attending my viewing and visitation saw me, they gave a big 'Whoop'. They hugged me. Jesus, through Peter, had brought me back to life."
"Who is this Jesus," I asked.
This Bible-based fictional story reminds us of four struggles:
- We need to decide if Jesus can bring people back to life, or not.
- The effect we have on people when we do simple, kind things for them, especially when they are hurting.
- The result of disciples doing what Jesus did can (will) change people's attitude about the Master.
- Our neighbors may not know the real Jesus because we haven't show Him to them.
Which one are you working on?