Today I went in for volunteer duty with a local agency and took with me four books written from a Christian perspective. We have a box marked “free books – help yourself” and clients can take and keep anything they want while waiting their turn to be seen.
I had a long conversation with one woman client who was going through life’s trials and had recently split up with her lesbian partner. She showed me two severe injuries her partner had inflicted and for which she had needed lots of stitches. She was very open to talking with me and admitted she found there was a spiritual dimension to our conversation that she really appreciated. In fact she said she sensed that God was in our encounter in a very real way. I was surprised to hear this, as I hadn’t said anything particularly spiritual up until this point.
She then picked up a little booklet “Finding Hope” and put it in her bag, saying that was exactly what she needed. She had experienced quite a bit of rejection in life, so I told her that Jesus was the only one who truly loved her and that he would never reject her. I also told her about an encounter I had where Jesus had appeared to me when I was distressed many years ago. She seemed quite touched by this. I asked her: “would it be OK if I gave you a hug?” She said that would be good, so I did and she also hugged me tightly back for a few moments. Before she left she saw the book box, picked up the one at the front with the title “Finding God” and said with a laugh: “this has all been planned!” I agreed that it had, so she left with the book on a high, and a big smile on her face.