Published (June 29, 2010)

Shelia Shares....
"Was Al Ready?"

Recently one of the men in congregation, Bob Ranck, went home to be with the Lord. He was ready to go. In fact, about a month ago, he told us death was a long time coming and he wondered why he was still here. Now, he's healthy and strong, celebrating at home with Jesus.

A couple of days before Bob's obituary was in the paper, we saw Al's obituary.

Let me tell you about Al. When we purchased our office building about 18 years ago, we needed most of the space for our business. Al was the only renter that we allowed to continue renting space from us and he stayed with us until he retired.

When we met him, Al was an older gentleman, and he was a gentleman. He was an accountant and had his own practice. He was quiet and gentle.

Reading about his death recently brought to mind an incident. I had taken his mail to his office and he told me his brother had just died. I offered my sympathy in his loss.

Then he told me he didn't know whether he would go to the funeral. I must have looked shocked. He continued that it wasn't because he didn't like his brother. They were close friends.

Al confided that he didn't know if he could go into the church and sit through a funeral, because he was so afraid to face death. He thought maybe he could go to the funeral, if he sat close to a back door, so he could leave if he needed to do so.

I told him that death didn't have to be a fearful thing if you knew where you were going. If you knew you would be home with Jesus, it wasn't facing an unknown end. It was a new beginning in heaven.

Shortly after this, Al retired and we didn't see him anymore. But, to this day, I regret that I didn't ask Al if he knew Jesus. I didn't ask Al if he had that assurance of salvation and that assurance of an eternity with Jesus.

Perhaps you remember an incident where you talked with someone. Maybe you even talked about spiritual things, but just didn't ask the final important question. Perhaps you failed to share the life-changing information about how they could accept Jesus Christ in their life.

You can't change that conversation. However, you can be prepared for the next time God allows a door to open to share about Him. Ask forgiveness for the past. Be ready for the future. God will open the doors. Just do it.

- Shelia

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