By Janice Skinner
Standing at the kitchen sink, methodically washing the breakfast dishes, I smiled to think how much I was enjoying the mundane of each day. It felt good to not have anything heavy to think about — just take each moment and not feel pressured to do anything or solve any problems.
As I scoured the sink, out of nowhere I heard a still, small voice deep in my spirit say, “What about Uncle George?” I was stunned! As absurd as it sounds, I answered, “What? What about Uncle George?” I remembered he had recently suffered a stroke.
Confusion was written all over my face. The voice continued, “He doesn’t know Me.” In my heart of hearts I knew where this conversation was going, and I didn’t like it. However, experience had taught me I would either listen and obey or carry the memory of a lost opportunity.
Choosing to obey, I went to the phone and called my aunt, only to be told it was not a good day to come. Relieved, I went back to cleaning. Still, uneasiness stirred in my spirit along with childhood memories. Even though he was now frail and sick, I remembered him as a big, burly, coarse-talking, hard-drinking man. Would he receive anything I had to tell him?
At that moment, I knew none of this mattered. God had asked me to go, and He would go with me and give me the words when the time came. In my heart I knew this, but that didn’t stop fear from suffocating any peace I might have felt. What I needed was moral support, so I enlisted my son who was home for summer break to go with me. I was reminded of Moses needing Aaron to go with him to see Pharaoh!
The first hurdle I imagined was explaining to my aunt why I had come after being told it was not a good time. God had already taken care of that. She was out running errands, and Uncle George was home alone. After jogging my uncle’s memory as to who I was and introducing my son, I sat down on the sofa. I realized my peace had been restored and fear was nowhere to be found.
“Do you know why I came here today, Uncle George?” He shook his head no.
“Well,” I continued, “I came to tell you how much God loves you!” He looked as if I had told him he had just inherited a million dollars!
“What? God loves me?” he asked doubtfully.
“Yes, Uncle George, God loves you! Would you like to know how much He loves you?”
By then his eyes were opened wide as if trying to “see” the words he was hearing. “Yes!”
His response urged me on. “God loves you so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to die on a cross so your sins can be forgiven and you can know Jesus as your Savior. Not only that, when you leave this earth, you will go to live with Him in heaven forever!”
Tears began to run down Uncle George’s face. “But you don’t understand. I’ve been a really bad person. I’ve done awful things. God couldn’t love me, could He?”
“Uncle George, the Bible tells us in Romans 3:23 that ‘all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.’ But then it says in John 3:16, ‘God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.’” It was obvious my uncle wanted to hear more.
“Now here is the really good news,” I continued. “In 1 John 1:9, the Bible says ‘If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’”
I reached for my uncle’s hand. “Would you like to pray for forgiveness?” He nodded yes, but then he confessed he had never prayed and didn’t know what to say. He was relieved when I said I would pray and he could repeat after me.
That afternoon, my uncle received a clean heart!
“Dear God, thank You for loving me. Thank You, Jesus, for dying on the cross to pay for my sins. I confess my sins and accept Your forgiveness. I turn from my sin and trust You as my Lord and Savior. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
That afternoon my uncle received a clean heart! After shedding tears of thanksgiving, I also confessed — confessed I had been afraid to come and share Jesus with him.
“Why?” he asked. With his face clouded with confusion, Uncle George said something I will never forget. “Don’t you know everybody wants to know about Jesus?” That one question has given me courage to share with others when I wasn’t sure I could.
Several years later when I received word Uncle George had died, my thoughts raced back to the day I stood at my sink and argued with the inner voice that asked, “What about Uncle George?”
I smiled because I knew all about Uncle George. He was in heaven with his Savior, the One he said everybody wanted to know.
Janice Skinner, a retired elementary teacher and writer, lives in Beaumont, Texas. She enjoys writing inspirational and nostalgic articles.
This article originally appeared in the November, 2012 issue of Mature Living. Subscribe now!