August 29, 2011

John 4:39-42

Many Samaritans Believed

39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers.

42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”


"Have you ever thought about letting Dani take communion?", Jimmy whispered sideways to me in the pew. With folks just ahead of us filing toward the front of the church, our time to stand was quickly approaching. I had just been thinking the very same thing, so I touched Dani's elbow, signaling for her to rise. As if all on the same page, she smiled, signed Jesus, and we three stood in one accord to walk forward for communion.

As we approached the pastor, he divulged the meaning of the bread and wine (juice). He explained that the wine represented Christ's blood and spoke of its healing. I stood with my hands on Dani's shoulders thinking of heaven and how wonderful it will be to meet our little girl one day, healed, whole, and complete. It was all I could do to hold back the tears.

Inching our way to the front of the sanctuary, we received our smidgen of bread and juice and then walked back to our seats. Like two halves of an Oreo cookie, once back in place, Jimmy and I nestled our little 23 year old baby girl between us as Jimmy began explaining the meaning of this gesture. We took the bread and drank the "wine" as tears filled our eyes. Dani cried especially hard; she understood the meaning all too well.

The congregation quietly dismissed. Without a word we walked out of the building to our car. Placing the key into the ignition, Jimmy broke the silence asking,"Did you see the girl in front of us staring at Dani?"

"Yes, I vaguely remember her but I thought she was looking past us toward the back door"

"No, she stared at Dani the whole service and I was getting a little irritated with her until we took communion. She continued to watch us and as we explained communion's meaning to Dani, she began crying uncontrollably on her mother's shoulder. When the service was over she continued to weep as they walked out of church."

Normally I would have noticed this girl in her early teens, but I was wrapped up in the thought of meeting Dani in heaven. I marveled at her sweet spirit and how tender it is toward God, even amidst severe disabilities. How our little girl is aware of an invisible God I'll never know, but she knows Him well and treasures His presence. Through her I've learned to never underestimate the faith of a child. That's why we allowed her to partake of communion that day. I don't question that she may have well gotten more out of it than some adults that day.

We weren't aware of it at the time, but our actions with Dani in church that day served as a testimony. I don't know who else saw what we were doing but one set of young impressionable eyes watched so closely they were reduced to tears.

I used to think one's testimony only referred to spoken words, like presenting your story of salvation to a group as the woman at the well did in today's study. I've since learned there's much more to it than that. What we do and what others see us do, speaks louder than the most eloquent of words, especially when we don't know we are being observed.

I have no idea what the Lord spoke to the young teen's heart or how He used Dani's first communion to touch her so deeply. I only know that even though we may feel invisible at times, people are watching. Naturally our spouses, children, family, and co-workers observe our behavior and responses to life's events, but strangers peer from afar as well. No doubt our testimony takes on many forms and impacts the world in ways we'll never fully understand.


When was the last time you observed someone's testimony? Did it have a positive or negative impact on you?

Could your verbal testimony use a little improvement?

How about your actions? Do they reflect the character of God or possibly lead others astray?


Cheryl Barker said...

What a precious story at so many levels. Certainly makes me think about who may be observing me when I'm out and about and makes me want to be more careful -- more filled with the love of Jesus rather than just caught up in whatever is going on with me.

Blessings to you and your family this week, Nancy!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Well, I just believe I "saw" a witness through your words. Beautifully written, friend.

I've watched the witness of many families over the last year at the cancer center. The way they take care of one another through simple gestures of kindness. There is a true foundation of love and grace in that place. One would have to put blinders on not to see Christ in that place.

Thank you for sharing this poignant moment with your readers.


katiegfromtennessee said...

Hey Nancy,

This is a thought-provoking post, and I want to sure that my testimony, the witness of my life lines up with the truth of God's Word in every way...I want to hear that "well-done good and faithful servant"

Happy Little Trees Studio said...

You brought tears to my eyes. Beautiful story and post. Thanks for sharing it.

Anonymous said...

Thank God.Good Work. really nice.Thank you.