I had the pleasure of having a long uninterrupted conversation with one of my favorite people last night. Unfortunately for her, this started as a massive venting session on my part.
I had a lot of things that had been building up all week that were irritating me, and all I wanted to do was complain about it. She listened patiently to my concerns, and then responded with wisdom and encouragement.
From day 1, this woman has been a kind and nurturing presence. She sits with me as though time does not exist, and she gently guides me into contemplative thinking on the nature of whatever the situation is.
What I didn’t realize until last night is this- no matter what the issue is, she always takes that opportunity to preach the gospel to me.
I was taken aback as I came to this revelation. Growing up baptist, I always equate good gospel preaching with a man standing behind a pulpit and warning of the impending fire and brimstone that all sinners are destined to suffer.
As a Christian, I fall into the trap of thinking that the gospel is reserved for people that don’t know Jesus yet. It’s elementary stuff that I’ve moved on from. I learned the lesson, I acted on it, and now I’ve graduated onto more complex things.
I was wrong.
I was very, very wrong.
The gospel is not a list of facts. The gospel is not a set of questions and answers. The gospel is not a doctrine, a belief system, or a sermon.
The gospel is alive.
In my moments of despair and frustration, she used the gospel to soothe me. It became a healing balm for an irritated and fragile soul. It became hope for an impossible situation. It became a breath of fresh air in a room where I felt like I was suffocating under the weight of my reality.
She showed me that because Jesus is alive, I don’t have to fear what lies ahead for me. She encouraged me with the truth that nothing can stand against me. Even death itself has no grip on me.
When is the last time someone has preached the gospel to you? More importantly, when is the last time that you preached it to someone else? The truth is, you don’t need a pulpit or a preacher. You just need love, and understanding.
Reach out to those around you, and preach this truth to those who confide in you. Preach these truths to yourself. The gospel is real, and it’s effective.
It’s for everyone. Even you.