Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tony then and now.

Tony then:
It was about two years ago now that I first met Tony. He sure looked sick. He was lying in his bed, pale and very thin. He seemed very cold so, I offered to get him a blanket. He seemed afraid for me to ask. I retrieved one out of the linen cart and covered him up.

“Better?” I asked.

“Oh, yes, better.” He said.

We talked a bit and Tony told me about his life as the owner of a popular sandwich shop. “They called me Tony Baloney.” We laughed and talked some more. Tony told me that he was in the rehab center because he was having trouble with his colon. I noticed that the medication he was on was for cancer patients. When we got to the serious topic of eternity, Tony got very quiet.

As we made our way through the Law of God, Tony began to cry. “Will God ever forgive me?” He sobbed when he realized how grievous his sin actually was to God. I had to wait until he was able to hear me before I gave him the Great News! As I explained what it meant to follow Jesus I gave him the illustration of the parachute that we all like to use. I told him that he should trust Jesus just like a parachute, if his plane were going down. His hands flew to his mouth and he said, “My girlfriend’s grandson was skydiving yesterday and his parachute failed to open!” Tears came to his eyes again and I explained that this was the closest illustration I could think of but that now he could see that Jesus was even more reliable than a parachute that we trust our lives to (or something like that!). I prayed silently that this would not interfere with Tony receiving the Message that he needed. Tony wanted to pray right then to ask God to forgive him. He said he wanted to follow Jesus. I gave Tony a large-print Bible and put his name in the front of it.

A couple of months later I received this note from him…

Tony now:
This year at Christmas I received a note from Tony with a request that I call him sometime. That time was today. It was really nice to talk to him and hear how he is doing. Tony told me today that God has really changed his life since he has been ‘converted’. He told me that for a long time he was an alcoholic, he could not give it up no matter how many times he tried. Since his conversion he has not had a drink. He doesn’t want to offend God. He also told me that he tithes 10% of his income (Social Security). He said that he is currently reading the last chapter of Corinthians. He had a couple of questions for me and we cleared those up. Tony told me that every night he prays to the Lord and when he does he thanks God for sending me and asks God to bless me.

Although Tony is 80 now and not well enough to get out to church, he is growing in the Lord. He is not a false-convert but a living, breathing son of the living God.

Lately I have been praying for clear direction from the Holy Spirit…

Message received loud and clear.

Phillipians 1:3-6 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making my request for you all with joy for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ,

No comments: