In the midst of the crowd she decided to strongly voice her opinion. "Jesus Saves....Jesus saves ****"
For some reason, this young woman (22-25 years old is my guess) was caught off guard by the "Jesus Saves" sign being displayed in front of the baseball stadium. Instead of keeping her opinion to herself, she shouted for all to hear.
Her statement caught me off guard and i couldn't ignore it. After evaluating the size of her boyfriend and deciding I could take him (Momma didn't raise no fool) I walked over and began a conversation. Making a point to keep my tone friendly, I asked "Why did you feel the need to say that?"
It was obvious that she was surprised anyone would question her. With much less confidence and conviction than she had before, she said, "I guess I just don't believe in that stuff."
"I understand that not everyone believes what I believe, but I guess I don't understand why people get so angry about Jesus when they don't even believe He exists."
Almost wringing her hands she said, "Well, I am just going through some difficult things right now."
At that I voiced my concern, told her I was sorry for her struggles, and told her I hope she enjoyed the game. As I watched her walk away, I said a quick prayer and asked God to reveal Himself to her in the next couple of days.
That encounter has stuck with me for the past ten days. I have thought about her and prayed for her several times since...I have also come to a couple of conclusions based on our interaction.
First off, I believe her hatred for/disappointment in Jesus is more cultural than anything. I don't believe she has given much thought to the claims of Christ, His character, or the way He wants to affect her life. I believe she decided to take the position of antagonist because that is what she believes is expected of her.
She has given into religious bigotry because that is what "normal".
So sad...the One who loves her perfectly is being judged and rejected before even being considered.
The second thought I have had as I have been praying for this young woman is that love and hatred are polar opposite passionate emotions that sometimes aren't that far from one another.
I know many people who used to hate each other that now love each other passionately. I also know many that used to love each other deeply that now can't stand to be in the same room.
How many times have you seen a couple in an angry fight turn to a quick passionate embrace (might just be TV, but there is some truth there).
Because of this realization that the boundary between love/hate can be crossed quickly, I have been praying that this young woman who is trying to convince the world that she hates my Savior would one day, very soon, fall in love with Him. I believe that day could come quickly.