…had never heard faith described in intimate terms.
I get these gems, the ‘seeds of thought’, from which inspiration comes via many sources. I have used old books, inspirational material, the Bible and quotes seen on the internet. Today, I take a cue from a fellow blogger who is also a writer, teacher, actor, etc. Mitch apparently wears many hats. This quote, which I will explain, comes from something he posted just today.
BTW, please forgive any typos today as I am typing this directly into WordPress.
What is the grandest experience a Christian can have? No correct answer here…there are so many. But what do you feel when God allows you a peak into heaven?
‘When have you ever experienced that?’ you might say. ‘When can I experience that until I am translated at death or take part in the rapture?’ Another valid question. When can you experience heaven…a peak into the throne room of the Almighty?
Mitch talked about an experience during which he was allowed to help someone else experience the God he knows. I’m sure it was exhilarating seeing the dawning light of Christ begin its work in that life. I have my own story that is not dissimilar.
Charles Bartoszak was a classmate of mine in California about fifteen years ago. We were both seeking an advanced degree and the outcome was not what we either of us desired. We were booted for cheating on an exam. The facts of the case don’t matter, but what does matter is that for many years I blamed my expulsion on Charles.
During the two semesters I matriculated at that university, another Christian classmate and I decided we would like to form a Bible study. Charles was a friend and we invited him to join. He accepted. Charles was not a Christian, but he was willing to listen to us explain out faith out of the Book we both cherished.
I remember Charles as inquisitive and accepting. My other classmate (whose name escapes me) and I were perhaps inept teachers, but enough of God got through (thanks wholly to the Holy Spirit) that Charles began to question his own spiritual state.
After our expulsion, I had little to do with any of my former classmates. I think I hung out with Charles a couple more times, but I largely wanted to forget the experience. Charles didn’t.
He continued to be apologetic any time I talked to him, knowing I blamed him for my problems, and apparently he continued to seek God.
About three years ago, I got an email message (I think it was) from Charles. I hadn’t heard from him in probably ten years. He wanted to thank me. He had moved around some, gotten married, then resettled in his native New York. But, what he told me changed me.
He apologized again for his role in our mutual expulsion; I told him it was water under the bridge (which it wasn’t). He also told me that he had accepted Christ as his Savior and Lord, and that he had me to thank for that fact.
I was floored. I little remembered the Bible study we attended while at school. As I said I tried to repress the entire event. I tried to deflect any thanks to our other classmate and Charles said it was both of us who had introduced him to Christ. He was both a Christian and a conservative due to the talks in which we three engaged.
Charles Bartoszak, my forgiving friend (it was I that needed it, not him), is one of my favorite people now because he taught me something about faith.
Whether we know it or not, whether we intend it or not, the Spirit is always moving. God’s plan is always pressing forward.
Because two shared their intimate relationship with Christ, the Holy Spirit was allowed to work in the life of another. And that other is a member of the body of Christ because he listened to that leading Spirit.
How blessed am I that I was allowed a peak into heaven? How blessed am I that at a low point in my life God prompted someone to reach out to me and share his blessing with me?
Why will I never stop praising God? What a silly question. There are many reasons, but there is one main reason. Because He allows me to sit at the table. He allows me to be a joint heir with Christ. He allows me to praise Him with my widely-scattered brothers and sisters. He also allows me to see, in small ways, how He rejoices when one comes into the fold. He allows me to be a small arrow in His quiver.
Thank you Charles for your influence in my life and the wonderful lesson God taught me through you.