A long time ago I was friends with a young lady named Heather. There was something about her that made me want to spend time with her. Whenever we were together, Heather seemed to be more genuinely caring about my welfare than had anyone else. She was quiet, calm and peaceful – qualities that I struggle to possess.
As our relationship grew, we began to discuss events and problems that had occurred in our respective lives. Heather always seemed to find answers within the pages of the Bible. She would show me a verse that meant a great deal to her, and occasionally that verse would also speak directly to my condition. I asked her how she could find so much wisdom from a book that had been written so long
ago, and she told me that Jesus and the Holy Spirit led her to find assurances in scripture, that Jesus was her friend and that she hoped he would one day be mine. As her relationship with Jesus developed, with each problem that came her way, she could become a stronger person.
Quite honestly, I initially thought that she might be a bit delusional. However, though she did not again speak of this, her actions spoke for her. She lived what she believed. She accepted me just as I was, in all my mess. She never told me to do anything other than to be her friend. Her manner was one of calmness and peace; it emanated from her soul. One could not help but be touched by her being. She saw God moving in me.
As I reflect upon the impact she had in my life, I realize that she gave me the space to wrestle with theological difficulties without fear of condemnation. She provided an atmosphere in which I felt safe to ask questions of faith. I received only support and encouragement from this gentle soul.
One evening, as we were walking together to Bible study, I heard the college church bells ringing. It seemed to me that in that moment time had stopped. I felt a peace that I had never before experienced and I knew that Christ had come to me. From that moment I desired to know him as well as anyone could. In that moment my life changed. By her example, Heather had taught me to rely on the Teacher who had restored my soul; she had led me to a relationship that continues to grow.
I wish I could be just like Heather, but that is not who God has intended me to be. The gift Heather gave to me during that time was the privilege of experiencing Christ for myself, and I hope that I have assisted — and continue to assist — others, as she did me, to meet Christ. Heather was a disciple of Christ who made more disciples. One of them was me.