10/23/14 John, 72
John, 72, a man at a booth at McDonald’s, overheard me mention religious faith in my conversation with another customer, so when I turned to ask him if I could run a question by him he wanted nothing to do with me. “I’m not into that sort of thing, no thank you” he said. “Have you always felt that way?” I asked. “Did you have any religious upbringing?” He said he did, but gave up on faith after several tours in Vietnam. He had been negative toward me at first, but when he saw that I was willing to listen to his answers he was very talkative. In fact, he couldn’t stop talking as he told his various beliefs in aliens and conspiracy theories and scientific explanations for various biblical miracles- all collected, I gathered, as replacements to biblical faith and the Gospel. John was very hardened and bitter toward the things of God. He was as far away from faith as anyone I’ve met in recent memory. After well over a half hour, I determined I would not be able to make much headway in sharing the Gospel with him and decided it was time to move on, so I graciously exited our “conversation”. Had I given up on John? Basically, yes. Is he beyond God’s grace or the power of the Holy Spirit to reach through his hardened heart? I don’t believe so. But John’s callousness toward faith and God didn’t happen overnight. He is not a victim. He has been listening to any story or any lie that offers an alternative to God’s truth for so long that I couldn’t begin to untangle the web of lies he believes in. I’m so glad this isn’t my responsibility; this is work that only the Holy Spirit can do. But then again, it always is.