Headed to the park, I grabbed my puppy, a blanket, my cell phone, and a manuscript of a book coming out soon called More Than ‘I’ Can Handle (more on this soon!). Penny Lane was a trooper sitting out in the sun with me for over an hour as I read, never getting up when other dogs or people walked by.
And then I saw an older woman and her dog walking towards Penny and me. She was 50 feet away and already talking to Penny in that baby/puppy voice. “Oh goodness” I said under my breath as the Lord immediately whispered “There is a reason for this, don’t just shrug her off”. So we stood and talked as our dogs played together. She rolled around on the ground with the dogs (who had become fast friends), and I learned that her name is Isabel and she is from Costa Rica and owns an alterations shop here in town. And then it got serious. She told me that she believed the dogs that died would be resurrected with us at the “New Order”. Immediately a red “crazy dog lady” flag went up. I know none of you would ever judge her for loving her animals so much that she thinks they will be that important to her in eternity… but I did. However, I was nice and didn’t respond. I mean, is there really any point in arguing whether or not dogs have souls? So I switched gears and asked her what church she attends. No church was named, she simply stated “I’m a Jehovah’s Witness”. So I proceeded to ask her questions about what she believes about Jesus and His life, death, and resurrection, and she, in very round about ways, somehow finally got to her answers. But it wasn’t before she told me that the Magi were sent by Satan, who also put the star in the sky that night in Bethlehem, or that Jesus has already returned, but He hid in the clouds and no one saw Him, or that Satan has more power in this world than God does, or that Jesus is in no way God, because God is God and they can’t both be God.
My heart was broken as she went on and on sharing these lies that were very similar to the truth, but not THE truth. She knew the stories of the Bible, but she also knew the stories written by the 9,000 “annointed” who still write Scriptures today, since apparently the Word isn’t enough.
I struggled for over an hour to interrupt her going on and on by asking questions and sharing what I believe and KNOW TO BE TRUE as she spoke lie after lie, but she would constantly talk over me, ignore me, or completely dismiss what I had to say. Towards the end of the conversation she told me that I knew nothing about the Word because I didn’t have the extra books written by “The Anointed” to help me understand it, and I told her that the Holy Spirit, the Author, was in.the.room. when I read my Bible, speaking to me clearly so that I needed nothing else but the Scriptures to understand the Scriptures. She told me that if God ever spoke to my heart and gave me a desire to “truly know the Bible”, that I should come to her shop and she’d give me some books on how to know “what the Bible really means”. My only reply was that I will be praying for her, because she is deceived and needs the freedom and sufficiency that is Christ.
She walked away dismissing me, thinking I needed something she had, and I walked away heartbroken, thinking how poorly of a job believers, myself included, have done sharing the hope of the one, true Gospel.
You see, when she arrived in the States in 1976, she was a member of the Catholic church, but she had escaped Costa Rica to find freedom of religion. And one day Jehovah’s Witnesses knocked on her door and as she opened it she said “Please come in, this house needs God”. What would have happened if it had been US? WE are the ones who carry with us this beautiful story of redemption and freedom and life and joy in Jesus Christ, the Son of God Who has redeemed us from our hopeless, sinful life! Why are we not more diligent to share it??
Today I am heartbroken that I have carried this incredible, life- and eternity-changing truth with me every.single.day since the moment I was saved, and I have not shared it as I should. And I am begging God to melt Isabel’s heart of stone, to remove the blinders and open her deaf ears. She believes these lies whole-heartedly, and she. is. deceived.
Will you pray with me?