The Atheist I Love

When did we first meet, Lord? Six years ago? He and his wife bought a nearby home. Snowbirds escaping the cold north for a few months each year. Until sickness and other maladies kept them away.

We took full advantage of their early winters here. It didn’t take long for his wife and I to discover we are Forever Family. It’s amazing, Lord, how Your Holy Spirit bears witness so quickly. So we avoid time we might otherwise spend on superficial talk and jump right into the deep end of the pool.

Where You are waiting… to take us deeper, still.  🙂

Nor did it take long to discover he is a devout atheist. [Is that an oxymoron, Lord?] Not really. We can be devoted to anyone — good or bad. We can be devoted to anything… right or wrong.

He’s been a hard nut to crack… and happy to remain there. Despite his wife’s devotion to You, Lord. Despite her prayers for him… and the prayers of countless others, myself included.

He’s been living on “borrowed time” for decades. Thanks to a life-threatening disease. Doctors said he had little chance to survive. Yet here he is, decades later. Still taking lots of medications. Still surviving… now, in his eighties.

He thinks he’s “lucky.” I know better. He’s alive by Your Grace… which gives me great HOPE. You haven’t given up on him. So how could I?

When You first revealed his spiritual sickness to me, Lord, You enlisted me as part of Your prescription:  Love him, My Daughter. Love him as I love him.

I didn’t know until this week how much that prescription has been at work. He said my love for him has been obvious and welcome. When I heard that, I felt a boldness well up in me. I felt compelled. To be more open with him — more urgent with him — than ever before.

“For Christ’s love compels us… And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”  (2 Corinthians 5:14,19-20)

He asked me, “What makes you think I will change my mind at this old age? I won’t be one of those who changes on their deathbed.”  What could I say? Only what You, Lord, prompted me to say …

Nothing “makes” me think you will change your mind. But I am a HOPE-FULL person!  🙂

And I will go on hoping — until you take your last breath, if necessary — that you will change your mind. Because whatever decision you make, you will have to live with it for Eternity. Eternity is a lot longer than your 80+ years. And there’s no better place to spend Eternity than with Jesus and those who love Him.

I told him of Your heartbreak, Lord — and my own — whenever those You love reject You. Did it help? I don’t know. I only know it’s the Divine Appointment You had for me that day. So I remain grateful… and HOPE-FULL.

Abba’s Girl

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