Earlier this week, while I was standing in a book shop at Grand Canyon National Park, a young twenty or thirty-something man walked up to me and slid a manila envelope on to the counter that lay between us. He flashed a broad smile and said he had something he wished to share with me. Inside the envelope was an 8 1/2 X 11 full-color photograph accompanied by a two-page typed note.
Here, in its entirety (unedited), is the message:
I found this photograph in a book titled Life Sixty Years A 60th Anniversary Celebration 1936-1996 shopping in an antique store. Inside was this picture of a deaf child holding his ear that is titled “A deaf child hears for the first time. Pittsburgh,1993.
FULLY PERSUADED AND TOTALLY CONVINCED
Just by the expression on this little boy’s face tells it all. He has just heard something for the first time. And though he may not be able to explain it he is totally convinced he has heard something. You would have a hard time trying to persuade this little boy that he did not hear anything.
I feel the exact same way about Jesus Christ. I am fully persuaded and totally convinced that Jesus is real. On June of the year 2000, I turned from a lifestyle that was totally opposite of a lifestyle that our Lord Jesus desires. I stopped running from Jesus and started running to Jesus. I found out that it is not about what you give up living for Jesus but what you gain. I also found out that the things I did not want to give up were not worth having. I can never repay Jesus for this because it’s a gift I could never earn. But I can give Him my one and only life here and now, and continue to give Him thanks everyday. As a result of living for Jesus I have been able to see the evidence of a changed life in other people besides myself. It is such a wonderful thing. I also have a new desire to tell people about this free gift of salvation that is available to everyone. Jesus is truly the God of second chances and new beginnings. The most wonderful thing is that Jesus is only one prayer away.
The way to heaven is not complicated. The bible simply tells us in Romans chapter 10 verses 9-13, “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile-the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on Him, for “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
The lady in this picture is overwhelmed with joy. She represents everyone that has ever prayed for me and reminds me of the angels in heaven. The bible says in Luke 15:10, “…I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
The word repents means to turn around. So if you are not running to Jesus, stop, turn, and run to Jesus. He will welcome you in His loving open arms. No matter what you have done or what you are involved in the love of Jesus is for everyone!
The simple question is this-do you live your life for Jesus? Are you just as convinced as the little boy in this picture?
Yours in Christ,
Chad didn’t remain to see if I would open the envelope; he didn’t stay to engage me in conversation and didn’t leave any contact information so I am unable to tell him that I’m sharing his message via this blog. My prayer, in sharing his gift, is that others may be moved by his testimony of faith to run to Jesus in whose protective care they will find–as has Chad and as have I–joy, peace, salvation from sin, and eternal life.