Encountering Everyone as Needing Jesus

“But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,” – 1 Peter 3:15.

Whenever I would visit my kidney doctor, the same male nurse checked me in. We talked. We laughed. We shared about life as much as we could in the time allotted for a check-in. He got my numbers, and I asked how he was. As our relationship was building, he shared with me that he and his partner were in the process of adopting 3 teens. The more we got to know one another at each appointment, the more I was trying to muster up the courage to witness to him. However, I never could seem to find the right opportunity to witness to him. I was determined that this time was going to be different. I was going to be bold, and I was going to do it. I wasn’t going to let another opportunity slip by and wait until another appointment. Or so I thought.

I was in the waiting room, and my name got called. To my surprise my name was called by a new nurse. I asked her where my nurse was, and she said he moved to another office. I couldn’t believe it. I missed my opportunity. I let my fears get in the way.

I started to get to know my new nurse who was very sweet, but during my check-in I was disappointed with myself. I waited for my doctor and felt heavy in my heart. However, things turned around at the end of my appointment with my kidney doctor when he said, “When I give you news and not so good news, you seem to take it all in stride. You always share how you have faith that God will take care of everything, and a lot of  people are praying for you. Well, I have prostate cancer and I was wondering if you and those that pray with you can pray for me?” I was pleasantly surprised and said, “Of course!”

All along I thought I was preparing to witness to my nurse and I was actually witnessing to my doctor without words. Well, he was listening to what I was saying, but he was also watching my response to things. I didn’t go to my appointments with the intention of witnessing to my doctor. Lesson learned.

God opened my heart to not overlook anyone. The world of doctors and science need to see living faith. The tables were now turned in my appointments, and I found myself asking my doctor how he was doing. Well soon thereafter, we changed our insurance so I no longer saw him. To this day, I wonder how he is doing. It was a lesson from God. What I realized back then was that you are always sharing your testimony. It may be planned out with words. It may be spontaneous. It may even be unspoken in how you react or respond to life’s ups and downs. You don’t know who is watching, so you need to be ready to share about the hope that is in you. And the hope that is in you must be lived out so that it is seen.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven,” – Matthew 5:14-16.

I just read an article as I was wrapping this up that said, “ A friend of mine calls this ‘living a lifestyle that demands an explanation.’ No matter where we live or work (or spend most of our time), may we in God’s strength live out our faith today—always ready to reply gently and respectfully to everyone who asks the reason for our hope.” So may we encounter everyone as an opportunity to live out our faith and hope.

Written by JoAnn Park


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