Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Jerry’s Moment

One of the greatest joys in my life is witnessing “that moment”.  That moment when everything changes in a persons mind—that moment when the gospel finally clicks.  I can remember a handful of times that God has given me the opportunity to witness “that moment” in someone’s life. 

One such person was a man named Jerry.  One night my friend—a former student of mine—was sharing the gospel with him.  A few issues came up and my buddy was not quite sure how to answer him; he called me hoping I could assist.  So, the next afternoon my friend and I went to Jerry’s apartment. 

One of the issues was that Jerry was a practicing homosexual.  He was deeply involved in the lifestyle.  I have to confess I had no idea what I was doing.  It also felt a little strange being alone in an apartment with a burly gay man and his 3 cats.  Not knowing what to do I simply asked a few questions to hear Jerry’s story. 

For about thirty minutes he told us everything.  He told us about his experience fighting homosexuality so as not to disappoint his mother.  He told us about currently being in trouble with the law for something he did not do.  Jerry wanted to be loved.  Jerry wanted to be loved by God.  But telling his story was his way of rehearsing the list of reasons why he was unacceptable to God.  At the end of his story he said that he was convinced that he had committed the unforgivable sin—homosexuality. 

What I said next shocked even me.  I agreed with him that homosexuality was an abomination.  (Not sure that I would used that particular word again).  I could see the pain and yet agreement in his eyes.  I continued.  This time, however, I added myself to a whole list of things that are offensive to a holy God.  I told Jerry about my pride, about my past failures, and a whole host of other things.  For what may have been the first time in his life Jerry did not feel alone in his brokenness. 

Then he had “the moment”.  I shared with him what Christ did on our behalf.  I explained that Christ died to conquer my pride and my brokenness.  I assured Jerry that there was no sin—not even homosexuality—that Christ could not forgive and conquer.  Through tear-soaked eyes Jerry cried out to God for grace and healing. 

A few days later Jerry was booted out of his apartment and had to move about 50 miles away.  But he left as a changed man.  The last I heard he was connected to a gospel-believing church and still clinging to hope in Jesus.  I’m happy that I got to see “the moment” when grace connected.

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