Monday, February 6, 2012


Yup.  I remembered.

Dunno how I forgot.  I've been chewing myself out over this for about a month now.

It was the emergency room trip...I was in the little treatment cubicle and an older lady who reminded me a bit of my grandmother wheeled in a portable X-Ray machine, stating that the doctor (whom I still hadn't seen yet) had ordered a chest X-Ray.

We chit-chatted a bit while she was setting it up and then taking it down, about I don't remember what, and suddenly she said something to the effect of, 'Well, we just all try to do the right things so that we can go to heaven.  Don't you agree?"

For some reason, that question caught me completely off guard, and I was overwhelmed at the thought of having an apologetic theological discussion with someone with whom I had no credibility.    Particularly when I was wearing that humiliating hospital gown sitting on a gurney hooked up to all kinds of monitors, feeling shaky and lightheaded and distracted.

There was so much in her statement that I disagreed with that I couldn't even think where to start.

But she was waiting on an answer.

To my astonishment, what came out of my mouth was, 'Well, I really don't want to open that can of worms.'

She smiled but didn't let me off the hook, 'Why would you say it was a can of worms?'

Actually, I was appalled that I had used that terminology; but I still didn't want to argue theology there, so I tried again, 'Well, I believe the Bible tells us what we need to do, and if we do what the Bible says, we'll be fine.'  Still a non-answer, but better.

She nodded.  "That's what I think, too." and wheeled her cart out.

I was left fuming with myself.  A can of worms!!! How lame!  How insulting to my Savior!  I had an opportunity to speak for Christ, and I blew it!! 

It wasn't until several days later that it occurred to me that she was perhaps trying to witness to ME.  And what I meant by  'can of worms' was a theological argument, not the Gospel.  But how could she know that?  And how could she know that years and years ago I worked with a guy who wouldn't have anything to do with Christianity, but stated how he hoped to do enough good to go to heaven someday, so fixed in his own ideas that there was no discussing Biblical truths with him at all?

So I've been going over and over that little exchange, wondering what I could've said that would've been less of a wimpy cop out and more of a declaration of the truth...

If the Bible says that all the best things we can do are no better than a stinking pile of used sanitary napkins, just what 'right things' are going to be capable of getting us to heaven?

Or maybe Corrie ten Boom's favorite conversation starter, So, how long have you known the Lord?

Or even I know whom I have believed in, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I've committed to Him until that day.

Any of those might have opened up the opportunity to state that my entrance into heaven is not dependent upon what I do, but upon what He did.

But all I came up with was a can of worms.  Good grief.

Thank God that His mercies are new every morning.  I needed my full day's supply right then.


  1. I just started reading your comments here and have enjoyed what you have shared. If you don't mind, I would like to share with you a couple of thoughts about this. I think you are being a little hard on yourself, but we all tend to do that in these situations. I read & listen to Graham Cooke a lot and one of the things that he says is that every problem comes with provision attached. All things work together for good to those who love God, who are called according to His purpose. I know that He works in every situation of our lives, never gives up on us and gives us many opportunities. Ask God what He is speaking to you about this and what He wants you to do. Focus on Him, not what you feel you failed at.

  2. I think, mostly, this was just a little wake up call to me that I need to be more aware of opportunities. And it will be a good illustration for the teen girls when we get to the unit on sharing your faith...that sometimes you will mess it up; learn from it and go on. Which is what I need to do! Thanks so much for commenting!