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Thursday, May 30, 2024

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Can We Talk?

Amy Patsch

By Amy Patsch

What a joyful visit I had with my friend in Tucson. We talked for hours about everything and anything.  

We do not hold the same views on every issue but because of our sisterhood in Jesus, no subject was off limits, and we had a great time 

I have so missed that opportunity to share and discuss numerous views of life with another. What a beautiful thing it is to be loved beyond our words. 

I always think that, as a Christian, I am obliged to forgive others if I, for any reason, feel hurt by something another has said or done. I certainly pray that my Christian friends feel that same compassion for me, as I am not known for my polished manners when talking about things that Jesus has put on my heart and into my soul. I get excited because I am passionate for my Jesus and what He has taught me. 

It is with great joy that I tell you my visit with my longtime friend was a delight. We have only seen each other in person four times in 35 years but this visit was as if we had just been with each other the week before and were catching up on what had occurred since then.  

I have hungered for this type of tête-à-tête since my hearing has deteriorated and since Covid has seemingly made speaking our thoughts boldly an evil or, at the least, an infringement on others’ sensitivities. Oh, to enjoy my Christian brothers and sisters in speech and actions! 

Neil and I have many friends and relatives who cover the spectrum from believers of the Holy Creator God to adamant non-belief in any god. They might be left, right, or in between but they are ours and we love them.  

If we speak to the non-believers about God, we, many times, will receive silence in return. Strangely enough, if we speak about politics with these same people, we can count on loud and raucous discussions with very determined and setupon beliefs of what is right and what is wrong, but speaking of Jesus brings silence.  

Does the silence indicate resentment or lack of understanding? We don’t know because not to share ideas is to create a sense of distance between us. How sad that some discussions are off-limits if love is all around us. 

I can’t just love those who think the way I do. Jesus loves everyone and I am to emulate Jesus in my actions. I have to be humble in my love in order to be heard.  

The Apostle James said it well, “My beloved brothers, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteousness that God desires.”   

I want to own that righteousness through Jesus, so I try to live by these words. 

When I feel tension from a non-believer as I speak of my love for Jesus, is it kind or even fair to change the subject? I feel I must at least clear the air by saying that my great love for that person compels me to tell them of my great love for Jesus.  

If they do not want to hear of my love, then I stop speaking about it. What a loss to all of us not to be able to share ideas let alone our deepest loves with those to whom we are closest. 

I pray often and fervently for the salvation of those in our lives who do not know Jesus as their Lord. Because my husband, Neil, and I live great distances from our non-believing relatives, I have put my thoughts down on paper and prayed over those words, and then sent them forth while asking God to pave their way. 

But the joy of speaking face to face with believers about our faith is so exciting to me that I revel in that shared love.  

Our Bible study group is very diverse. We come from different areas of the country and some of us speak English as a second language. Between the 10 of us, we attend four different churches. The joy remains and the love is strong. Jesus crosses all barriers and borders.  

“See how great a love the Father has given us, that we would be called children of God; and in fact we are.” I John 3:1 

The second part of that verse explains better the reason why our non-believing friends and family may not want us to speak about our love for Jesus as it says: “For this reason the world does not know us: because it did not know Him.”    

Some do not even have a desire to know this great love of Jesus. This keeps me on my knees in prayer for every one of those non-believers in my life. I pray that God will soften their hearts towards Him and that they will find the great joy of knowing Him.  

ED. NOTE: Amy Patsch writes from Ocean City.Email her atwriterGoodGod@gmail.com.   

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