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It can Happen Anywhere March 3, 2010

Posted by theregenerateme in 1.
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Over the weekend, I attended the annual Veterinary Conference that comes here locally. Although I am not currently practicing (veterinary nursing), I don’t ever want to lose my license. So, I attend these annual  conferences to receive my 12 mandatory CE (continuing education) hours, thus keeping my license in tact. So, Saturday morning arrives, and I head to the conference. I was a little late arriving, so by the time I got there, a session had already begun. I checked in and received my package, then found a seat to look over everything and wait a little while for a break. It’s when I was waiting for one thing,  when along came something else….something unexpected….something SO MUCH BETTER!

This older man was walking by (in a bit of a hurry), and looked over my way saying, “hello there dear….you aren’t married to a Veterinarian are you?” I of course replied, “No, I’m a veterinary nurse.” He asked me what part of town I work, so I started to tell him that I am not currently practicing, but own a small pet sitting business. Well, he held up his hand and said, “Hold that thought honey, I’ve got to get to the little boys room, but you sound like you are full of information, so I’ll be  right back….don’t you move.”  I said okay with a laugh, then got back to my material. Sure enough, a few minutes later he comes on back, sitting down in the chair right next to me. He continues, “So tell me about what it is you do?” We chatted back and forth for several minutes, discussing my business and animal health care. He told me that he lives in Madison, AL and has a practice there. “The name’s Jim (Dr. Jim) Powers.” He started asking me some personal questions, like what made me get into this business instead of staying in the medical field. As I was answering his questions, one after the other, I thought to myself…”This is not ordinary. A complete stranger interested in getting to know another complete stranger for really no reason, no benefit. Some people might really be annoyed with this, or uncomfortable…wanting him to get up and walk away already. But I don’t really mind. I appreciated him. I love elderly people, always have. This is kind of cool.” Well, little did I know the conversation was about to shift in a direction that would sure cause more enjoyment.

He asked me what my husband did for a living. I told him he worked at LifeWay Christian Resources, here in Nashville. And here’s where my story gets interesting. The following is our dialogue over the next several minutes:

Dr. Jim: “Well, I bet they only want Christians working for them, so how do they go about making sure that happens?”

me: “They actually asked him to share his personal testimony during the interviewing process.”

Dr. Jim: “Wow, you don’t say? If I did that at my practice, I’d be sure to get slapped with some sort of lawsuit of prejudice, intolerance, or discrimination. How can they get away with that?”

me: “Well, they are a business set on biblical principles, working together for the good of the Gospel, so it behooves them to inquire each employees’ beliefs. I would think that is an understood requirement and desire for each person that applies to work there. Of course, anyone can say anything to get hired. Only God truly knows if each individual working there is in fact saved.”

Dr. Jim: (pausing and scratching his chin for a moment, then says) ” Well Ms. Lauren, how long have you been a Christian?”

me: “Four and a half years sir.”

Dr. Jim: “Well what took you so long!” (with a sweet smile on his face)

me: “All I can tell you is that I certainly thought I was a Christian my whole life. I was raised with just enough Christian understanding around me to think I was….but the Lord just recently opened my eyes to His Truth about Him, and the Truth about my sinful state.”

Dr. Jim: (huge smile on his face now) “Honey, let me just tell you about a conversation I had earlier with a young lady in the room right across from us.”

Well, I felt my face light up, and my rear begin to scoop to the edge of my seat. He went on to tell me about this woman he had spoken with a couple hours before. She was an episcopal (which was my previous background). He asked her when she accepted the Lord and Savior into her life. Her response was something about going to church regularly and getting baptized. As he is sharing this, I’m sitting here thinking, “wow Lord, he basically was having a conversation with an old version of me! I was in that liturgical, ceremonious type of denomination, I assumed going to church and getting baptized was just what you had to do as a Christian too.” I was wondering what he said next to her, about baptism especially. My heart delighted in his response to her. He told her that doing that stuff was good and all, but that wasn’t what he asked her. “When were you saved my dear?”, he asked the woman. He said she just sort of stuttered a bit with her words, and said she believed who Jesus was, and really liked going to church. He told her that God will forgive her for “getting saved twice” (play on words if you will), but He won’t forgive you if you never become saved. Wow. I think at this point I must have been smiling from ear to ear. There is no greater joy when you realize you are in the presence of a fellow believer. At first it appeared that we were two strangers, having no more than a love for animal in common, but within minutes we both realized we were siblings in Christ, heirs of His eternal kingdom! He had witnessed to this young lady just a couple hours earlier, and was doing the very same thing with me now. What a pleasure to us both knowing that Liberty had already come our ways. We talked quite a bit more…about my testimony, my marriage, my church home, and the overflowing joy I have in Christ alone. He said that as soon as he started talking to me about God, my face lit up and my whole body looked more alert. I told him that didn’t really surprise me…nothing in life excites me more than sharing the passion I have in Jesus Christ. I told him I used to be an episcopal, and had very similar responses to what the woman earlier that morning had stated to him. We talked about how liturgy, ceremonious acts, good works, and “religion” are so far from the One True Gospel. I looked at Dr. Jim and said, ” It’s Grace, and Grace alone, you know?” He said, “absolutely my dear….you got it!” He stood up and told me there was another young lady he had just briefly talked to earlier (not about Christ), and that he wanted to go find her and witness to her. He shook my hand, saying “God bless you” and told me my husband was a lucky man (more like I’m the blessed one!).

As Dr. Jim Powers from Madison, AL walked away, I took a pause to digest what just took place. Here was a Veterinarian, attending a Veterinary Conference, but he wasn’t necessarily there to hear all the lectures. He was on a mission….the same mission that every human being was created for…to share the Good News with everyone.

“Afterward He appeared  to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and He rebuked them for their unbelief and  hardness of heart, because  they had not believed those who saw Him after He had risen. And He said to them,  ‘Go into all the world and  proclaim the Gospel to the whole creation.” Mark 16:14-15

As I got up from my chair to continue on about my day at the conference, I said a silent prayer of great thanks to the Lord for that sweet encouragement and reminder of why we are all here, and that we can (and SHOULD) be always that eager to tell of His great GRACE. Thank you Dr. Jim, my dear brother in Christ, and thank you Lord for such a sweet moment in my life…It can happen anywhere! Amen!