Life in the Spirit
By Ken Walker –
A grandson who works at Amazon is my resident tech expert. When I wanted to download Skype three years ago so I could interview several people overseas, I called him to help me with the task.
When I experienced problems following a recent upgrade to Windows 7 after Microsoft stopped supporting XP, I called him again. When I get mystified over a cell phone issue…guess who I call (or text)?
He also happens to be one of the 20-somethings who grew up in church and then left it behind as a young adult. While I never try to cajole him into returning, I am also open about my faith and what it means to me.
In mid-May I had an opportunity to do just that in a way that was so normal and natural I marveled over both the chance and the timing.
To start with the latter, I had been swamped with deadlines during a pre-vacation time crunch. Yet, the afternoon he showed up to help with my Windows 7 problems, I had just finished the first draft of a story due two days later, and had some flexibility before editing a chapter on my latest book project.
We sat and chatted while he searched online for drivers that might resolve my monitor problems. During this relaxed time, I shared the amazing stories that I wrote about in two previous blogs.
The first was the way God helped me rattle out a devotional in 45 minutes. The other was how He healed me just 90 minutes after I went to bed, thinking the nasty virus I had would prevent me from working for the rest of the day.
The Daily Reality
A bit on the shy side, I have never been one to evangelize strangers and don’t find it that easy to talk to family members about matters of faith. But this day I simply shared what had happened, concluding with the comment, “That’s what faith is all about to me. If it doesn’t work on a daily basis, why bother? Why go to church if all you’re doing is getting your Sunday fix and then going on with your life?”
While I don’t know if I changed his mind about anything, I could tell by the look on his face that he heard me.
Now, I don’t pretend to have all the answers as to why church attendance is declining in America. But I do think that many outside the church who want an authentic spiritual relationship watch too many inside the church going through the motions and say, “Why bother? I can sleep late on Sunday and have more time to myself.”
Moved by the Spirit
I thought again of the need for more Christ followers to speak openly of the reality of the Holy Spirit in their lives just last week, when my wife, Janet, and I visited a friend recuperating from serious surgery. His ailment required a three-week stay in intensive care, followed by 10 more days in a rehab hospital.
We stopped in one evening, intending to visit for five or 10 minutes. We wound up staying for 50. Interesting how you can go to cheer someone up and they encourage you more than you do them.
Among the things that captivated us was his description of an encounter with the Spirit during his time in ICU. In the middle of his daughter’s visit, he sensed God’s presence and saw a brilliant light in the room that overwhelmed him. He got choked up just recalling the experience.
After telling us about it, he said that he planned to talk to others in rehab sessions about God and what happened to him. We left more cheerful than when we arrived. I can only pity those who don’t know about the reality of the Spirit’s work in this world.