“How should I respond?” I wondered.
, Canadian Adventist Messenger
It was summertime in the Canadian city of Calgary, and I was working as a student literature evangelist.
Approaching a door, I knocked and, when it opened, noticed right away that the man standing there had a pleasant face. He seemed happy. Even more, he actually seemed happy to see me.
As part of my presentation, I began to talk with the man about health and the benefits of fruits and vegetables. Halfway through, he interrupted me.
“Come in, come in!” he said. “I need you to pray for my husband.”
The words came as a surprise. Assuming I had misheard, I said, “Oh sure, I’d love to pray for your wife.”
“No, my husband,” the man corrected me, seeming not at all disturbed.
Without hesitation, I responded: “I’m sorry. I would love to pray for your husband. But I don’t remember telling you that I’m a Christian. How did you know?”
“Your whole demeanor,” the man said. “You see, I prayed earlier today that the Lord would send a Christian to my door who could educate me on health. My husband has type 2 diabetes, and most of the time I have to stay at home with him. I have been really concerned lately about his medications and his daily meals. Something keeps telling me they are reacting badly together.”
“I’m not yet a nurse,” I said. “And I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist. I just know a few things.”
Still the man insisted that I come in and pray. Throughout this exchange, I prayed silently as I had never prayed before. “What should I do? How should I respond?” I wondered.
Then two Bible passages came to mind:
“But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20).
“To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you” (1 Corinthians 9:22, 23).
I knew what I should do.
Going in, I prayed for the man and for his husband, feeling very privileged that God had chosen me to share His love with them. Afterward, I gave the man a copy of the book The Great Controversy. At this, he began to cry. He told me he had attended a Pentacostal church on Sundays but hadn’t been able to go since his husband had become ill. He then said: “Young lady, you are a blessing to me. I will make sure to read this book!”
In John 12:47, Jesus said, “For I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.” I now better understand what Jesus meant. Jesus did’nt condone the behavior of the woman caught in adultery. In His parting words to her, He said, “Go and sin no more.” But He also said, “Neither do I condemn you.” He gave her the help and the hope she needed to leave her past behind.
To a world that is lost and hurting, Jesus asks us to do the same. It’s not our job to judge or condemn. Instead, we must be moved with the compassion that moved the heart of Jesus, extending His love and His grace to all.