There is a song I have sung with fellow Christians titled: “Instruments of Peace.” The lyrics of this song point its singers to the Lord in prayer asking Him to make us instruments of His peace in our world full of hate, prejudice, injury, striving, crying, blindness, darkness and sadness.
A few weeks ago, while out seeking souls in Anaheim to engage in spiritual conversation, I stopped to make some notes about interactions I’d just had with a some people. Not thirty feet from where I was standing was a young couple standing in a parking lot, with their young daughter in the man’s arms. They were engaged in a verbal battle with one another. One stabbing at the other with accusatory words. The other responding in kind. It was not hard to hear them, because they were being rather loud. In fact it was hard not to hear them. I decided that I had chosen a sad place to try and concentrate to write my notes.
My first thoughts included how I it was sad how they were treating one another and how petty their jabs at each other seemed. I thought that I would not approach them with the tract I was handing out because I was pretty sure I would not be well received and that they might be rather offended that I interrupted. I made my notes and determined to leave to catch my next appointment which I was in danger of being late for anyway. After heading away from them ten or twelve feet, I was convicted that if it was obvious that anyone could benefit from the truth of God it was these two, and I turned back in their direction and approached them. While still fifteen or twenty feet away I offered a greeting to them and apologized right up front for my intrusion into their conversation. My next question was whether they were married to which they said no. I asked if the little girl in the man’s hands was their child together to which they answered yes. I confessed that I was no relationship expert or professional counselor, but that I was a Christian and had been married for twenty three years. I suggested that my wife and I had found ourselves arguing like they were early in our marriage and that it was regrettable and ought not be so. They agreed. I shared that the pivotal point in our relationship that got us on a better track was when we realized that instead of thinking we needed our spouse to be a certain way to get along with them, instead we needed to decide to be the person our spouse needs us to be for them. I shared that doing so helps the other person have every reason to be the person we need them to be, whether they rise to the occasion or not. They said that what I shared made a lot of sense and thought that they could see how it could make a difference in their relationship. I shared that we learned the idea from God who though people do not deserve His goodness, keeps lavishing it on us in order to give us every reason to chose Him and live the way He created us to live (Acts 17:25-27). I shared that while we were still helpless and enemies of God because of our sins, Jesus died to provide forgiveness and a close relationship with God to all who would believe in Him (Romans 5). I asked if they’d ever heard these things before. They said, “sort of.” I asked if they knew what the gospel was. A question answered no.
At this point in our conversation we discussed what the word gospel meant (i.e. good news) and that the Bible declares that the gospel of Jesus Christ is God’s power unto salvation for all who would believe it. I asked if they wanted to be with God in heaven at their death or Jesus return and they answered affirmatively. I asked if I could share the gospel of Jesus with them right then. They said, “Yes.” So I walked them through the gospel! While presenting the gospel to these two young souls, I asked along the way if they believed the things being said. The woman affirmed that she did and that man said he was unsure.
Here is where my memory of the event gets a bit fuzzy. I do not recall if I gave them a straightforward invitation to obey the things taught at that moment or not. I believe that I did, but maybe not, because later that day I texted them both seperately to invite them to obey or get together to discuss it further. He responded to my text saying that he would contact me if interested further. She did not respond to my text, though I have a recollection that at some point in our conversation she said she decided, because of our conversation, that she should start going to church with a friend. I’ve attempted contact with both of them through text again since that first text, but have not heard anything.
To my knowledge neither has obeyed the gospel by being baptized to date, so why share this account? In order to encourage boldness in shining the light of Christ in your community, allowing God to use you as an instrument of peace in a world in desperate need of it – both physically and spiritually. What at first I thought was not a situation I should get involved in, because I was willing to try, by the grace of God, became an opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus Christ! Also, hopefully it helped equip this couple to have a better relationship with one another for their sakes and their daughter’s.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16
Lord make us instruments of Your peace!