by Amanda Leggett
Dad drove recklessly past all of the cars. ³Hurry, Brad!² my mom screamed. ³Iım going 85!² replied Dad. My dad, mom, and I were on our way to Waterloo, IA. My big brother, David, a freshman at UNI in Cedar Falls, was in the hospital, due to a severe heart attack.
You see, David has always been the different child. We were both raised in a strong Christian home, but David had never believed there was a God. Ever since he was eight, he started hanging out with the wrong crowd at school. And then, last summer, mom and dad found out he had started smoking weed. But they couldnıt really do anything to him, since he would be leaving for college shortly, anyway. So, it was a real shock to get a call at around five in the morning, saying that David was having a heart attack due to weed overdose. I mean, heıs just a kid!
As I looked out the window, a salty tear trickled down my cheek. ³Just like Grandpa.² I shook my head sadly at the thought of losing David, too. David, my only sibling, was having a heart attack. It was more than I could bear. My face scrunched together, and my mouth quivered. But then an awful thought occurred to me. ³Heıs not saved!² my mind screamed, horrified. ³Oh, God,² I silently prayed. ³Please, if I have a chance left, please help me reach him!²
I cried even harder as I thought of all those times I could have reached him. If only I hadnıt been so scared. As I watched my mother and father, my heart ached for them. I tried to imagine what they must be going through, losing their unsaved son like that. I donıt know why, but all of a sudden, I remembered the day Michael died. I was in about third grade or so. I remembered it being in the spring or summer. Mom had the windows and door open. I was reading a book. David was outside playing ball with his friends. All of a sudden, the phone rang. ³Iıll get it!² I shouted. ³No, I will!² Mom yelled back. She closed her door and picked up the phone. I went back to the simple world of The Babysitterıs Club, waiting for Mom to get off the phone. Thirty minutes later, Mom came out of her room, sniffling like crazy. Her nose was all red, like she had been crying. ³Whatıs wrong, Mommy?² I had asked concernedly. ³Oh, nothing.² She turned away. ³No, tell me,² I begged. She looked out of the window, a faraway look in her eyes. A single tear slithered down her cheek. There was silence for a moment. My stomach felt weak. ³Maybe Dad got hurt or something,² I thought. ³A friend of mine died today, Adrienne,² she began slowly. More silence. ³Mommy, who?² I questioned. ³Someone from my high school when I was growing up. His nameıs Michael.² I felt bad. ³Howıd he die?² I asked. ³He was in a coma too long, and his heart stopped beating,² she explained. ³He was so young. Only 32!² she screamed. ³He was in our group. We called him Big Lips.² She didnıt seem to want to let go. ³I remember the day we all took Michaelıs glasses!² she tried to laugh at the fond memory, but it was obvious she was on the verge of crying. Mom went back downstairs to get the yearbook. I left her alone to remember Michael.
Later on, I asked Mom if Michael was in Heaven. She didnıt really know. Somehow, we got into the conversation of talking about David. ³Is he a Christian?² I asked Mom. She paused. ³I donıt know. He doesnıt really talk to me about those sort of things. That would be a good question to ask him,² Mom said softly.
The next day, David and I played ball outside together. I debated over whether or not I should ask him if he was a Christian. I was about to, but chickened out. Since then, there had been other opportunities. Sitting in the car, I vowed that if I had a chance, I would tell David about my Jesus.
When we arrived at the parking lot of the hospital, my heart fluttered. But I couldnıt back out now! Not when I was so close! I prayed to God to give me the courage and strength to face David. I asked Him to soften his heart.
As soon as we had set foot in the waiting room, we saw Kelley, Davidıs steady girlfriend of two years, pacing. ³Howıs he doing?² I ran up to her and gave her a big bear hug. ³Not so good.² She, too, looked like she had been crying. ³Yeah. I guess heıs not doing so well. They wonıt let anyone in there except the doctors and nurses.² Standing there, we all huddled together. This was so scary!
A couple hours later, after a lot of praying and waiting, the
doctors let us each go in, one at a time. I was first. The first
glimpse I got of David, he was perched up on his bed, gripping the
bars on the sides for dear life. His hair was greasy, his face
ghost-white. His lips were a funny purple color, and his eyes were
totally glazed over. He looked like a dead person to me! But,
nevertheless, he was my brother, and I had someone very important to
share with him. ³Come on over,² he motioned limply. He tried to
smile. I sat next to him on the edge of the bed. ³Adrienne! Iım so
freaked!² his voice whispered hoarsely. I took one more look at him,
and burst out crying. ³Oh, David!² I sobbed. It scared me to see
David, my ³tough² big brother of five years, looking so weak. We
hugged tightly. ³David,² I began softly, once the tears had subsided.
³David, you donıt have to be scared. I have a friend - Jesus - who
loves you so very, very much....²
* * *
How do I lead my friends and family to Christ without them getting
mad at me? What if they donıt listen to me? How can I stop chickening
out? In the story, Adrienne was going through the very same questions
that you may be wondering about in your own life. Maybe God wonıt put
you through something that dramatic to make you wake up and remember
that, whether youıre scared about witnessing to them or not, theyıre
going to hell unless you can do something about it. But He does say
you have a responsibility. Romans 10:14 says, ³How can they believe
in the one of whom them have not heard?² And, if you think about it,
how can they if you always chicken out and never give them a chance?
Start praying to God to give you the courage to face them. If they
accept Him, thatıs cool - more glory to God! But if they reject Him,
thereıs nothing you can do but pray about it. Donıt feel like itıs
your fault. Only the Spirit can move people. In the mean time, get
your act together. One of the most powerful ways you can witness to a
non-Christian is by your lifestyle. Yeah, maybe youıve accepted Jesus
as your Savior, but if you havenıt made Him Lord of your Life,ı then
your life canıt ever ³shine for Jesus.² (Matthew 5:16) So, this month
specifically, try working on ³letting your light shine.² Start by
looking up these passages:
- Psalm 27 - Romans 12
- Psalm 25 - Proverbs 3:5, 6
- Matthew 10:19, 20 - I John 1:5-10