.....Today I spent 1.5 hrs in a bead store. I had started this bead bracelet thing for each of the granddaughters birthdays back in July 2011. Needless to say, life got so busy that I forgot the December birthday bracelet. So off to town I go, to the Hippy Bead Shop. Inside you can smell incense burning, the Beatles softly playing in the background, the cuties little dog and a very nice employee. She was so warm and friendly on a very cold Ohio morning. I asked forgiveness for my public singing of these familiar tunes...b/c I just had to sing along. We both went about doing our thing. I searched high and literally low for the right beads to emphasis the bracelet for our KK.
Then I sat down to start threading the (very curly) wire with the right mix of beads. I am not sure how our conversation got onto drugs and addictions but it did. I confessed certain wrong judgments I made as a young 19-21 yr old. She confessed her own stupid decisions of life before 30. One thing she said she never did was get hooked on drugs or alcohol. I agreed with her on that subject as well. She then proceeded to tell me that her parents were hippies in the early 70's and b/c of their years of addictions she made her mind up to not go that route in life. However she shared that her parents started going to church about 10 yrs ago and the addiction stopped. This employee emphasized that she believes that there is a God but she also believes that other gods of peoples choice is not wrong as well. The typical wordage of "Who am I to judge" mindset fell from her lips.
That is when God impressed upon me to say "The Bible says there is only One True God and that is God-creator." She nodded her head and said, "I think we can worship God anywhere, we don't have to be in a church to do so." I nodded. She doesn't like to be around those who worship on Sundays and act differently the rest of the week. I nodded again.
Then she spoke about religion. I had to speak. I told her that my view is: I also hate religion! This statement shocked her b/c I told her my husband was a pastor. I continued. I hate religion but love a relationship! Religion puts God in a box that only allows Him to comes out in worship...but a relationship makes God as big as He really is. I explained that where her dad is in his walk as a believer is a different level than I am. It is relational to where we are in life and where God wants us to be. She nodded then said "wow, I have never heard it spoken like that before. I like that!" I continued sharing my testimony and began to checkout. She then invited me to come back anytime to just talk. As I was leaving she said, "it is so refreshing to talk about God with a person who is not judging or combative."
I left the store praising God for sending me there today of all days...and for giving me the words to speak. Ya'll this witnessing thing is NOT AS SCARY as you may think. I invited her to church, she invited me back and we both left thinking about God!
ps...I wonder how many other people out there do not share their views b/c they feel they will be met with hostility and non-compassion? What are we as believers showing the world, in which we live, about this "God-thing?"
pss.....one more thing, this morning I needed to confess to God a wrong doing (attitude) I had at another store. He is gracious to forgive and then gave me an opportunity to redeem myself at the Hippy Store. WOW, God is awesome!