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An Unexpected Rendezvous
It was in a church where I met Him, and it was the most important event of my life. Although I knew of Him before this time, I had never personally met Him. As a result of this event He also became the most important person in my life, and I am sure He always will be.
The morning started out with me picking up Anita in my dark green 1966 Ford Mustang. Anita was Italian. She had dark hair and was tall, almost as tall as I, and she was always smiling. This day I was smiling too. But more was at hand than just boy-girl stuff, you know, holding hands and enjoying just being with each other. We were going to church, and it was a new experience for me.
We arrived at the church a little before ten o’clock, which was good; we were a little early. The outside of the building was plain Chicago brick, and its most distinguishing feature was a red fluorescent sign (it reminded me of one you would see on a store downtown) high on the front of the building that said: “Christ died for our sins.”
As we stepped inside the front door, there was a small foyer and five or six steps that led up to the main room. A lot of the more than one hundred theater-like seats were already occupied. We were still able, however, to get what must have been Anita’s regular spot—on the left side about halfway to the front. There were men in business suits, ladies in Sunday dresses, and they all seemed to be friendly, at least that is what their smiles said to me. Still, not being a church go‑er, I felt the presence or closeness of a lot of people around me, and I was just a wee bit uneasy. I turned my attention for a brief moment to the room I was in.
The windows were not stained glass, and there was no fancy woodwork; it was just a modest, old church building—white plaster walls, very high curved ceiling, and a red carpet that was clean but well trampled. The place did not seem especially intimidating, not like the cathedral-like church I visited once long before. There was not a lot of show, not a lot of ceremony as the service began.
The songs we sang, the prayer requests, the announcements, all seem to have faded from my memory. Oddly (as I reflect on the importance of this occasion to me), I remember nothing about the main part of the sermon. But I do remember the ending. The pastor finished by saying, “If anyone feels that there is something missing in your life, something the others have that you do not, then come forward and we will go aside and talk.” Something was happening inside me. I was challenged, perhaps by a sense of personal need. I looked over at Anita and could see the anticipation in her face, sort of, “go ahead, go up to the front.” The pastor said that I was the only one who ever came forward for the invitation at the end of a service.
As they finished that last song, I felt very strange sitting alone in the front row. I remember thinking, “What exactly is going on here; should I have even come up here?” After the singing was over, the pastor and I went into a small room. He opened his Bible and showed me from Romans 3:23 that I was a sinner. He then pointed out from 1 Corinthians 15:3,4 that Christ died for my sins and was buried and raised again the third day. He asked, “Do you believe these verses; Do you believe both of these things they are saying?” I said, “Yes.” He then showed me that the gift of God is eternal life (from Romans 6:23), and asked me if I would like to ask Christ to be my Savior. Again I answered, “Yes.”
The pastor put his hand on my shoulder which made me feel like something monumental was about to happen. We prayed together, and it was done. I had come to Christ; I had met Him; I had trusted Him as my Savior and Lord! There was a sense of calm, of importance, of joy and relief. To think that you had just been forgiven all your sins, received eternal life, and met the Lord. Wow! I remember walking up to Anita the first thing after leaving the small room. She was smiling even bigger now, and she kind of shook her head as if to say, “Yes, this is good.”
Since then I have gotten to know the Lord Jesus better with each passing day by reading His Word and seeing His hand of blessing in my life. Have I ever regretted that day or that decision? No, not for a moment. Do I have any regrets? Only that there are times when I fail Him, but thank God my relationship with Him is not based upon my performance but upon the gift of His grace! The sense of gratitude I feel toward Him makes me want to live for Him in everything I do and also to tell others about Him. This truly was the most important event of my life—meeting my Savior. Do you know Him? Would you like to?
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