We Sow and Water Seeds
by: Fred Wilgenburg
Carol is a friend and a talented artist who struggles with alcoholism, in part because of her broken family. Carol knows she lacks a relationship with God and is open about it. During one visit, I quoted Gandhi: “The need of the moment is not one religion, but mutual respect and tolerance of the different religions . . . Truth is the exclusive property of no single scripture” (Christian Missions, p. 34). Carol agreed, but she admitted that not knowing any god means she doesn’t know “who” to turn to in time of need.
Then we read John 14:6: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Interestingly, Carol liked this verse and the teachings of Jesus, and she is especially drawn to his self-sacrificing love. Carol even said she would be open to dying for others. I affirmed her compassion but explained that our dying for another is much different than Jesus’ dying. Jesus was fully human and fully divine, yet without sin. In his dying, he atoned for our sins. Our talk continued, and, because she is open to various spiritual beliefs, Carol welcomed a closing prayer to our visit.
Conversing with Carol reminds me of Paul’s words: “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.” Let’s keep planting seeds and watering them.