Jesus' Mercy Changes Me, We and the World


Although it’s not clear if he said it, a famous quote generally attributed to St. Francis of Assisi is, “Preach the gospel at all times.  If necessary, use words”.

Several years ago, I had a personal experience that reminded me of this quote.  I had a very close friend named Jeff throughout junior high and high school.  Unfortunately, we lost contact with each other after we graduated, attended different colleges and settled in different parts of the country.  About forty years after we graduated, Jeff tracked me down and called me.  After catching up, he said he had been wanting to call and thank me for leading him to Christ at age 22.  I had no idea what he was talking about and asked him to explain.

We were both on the basketball team in 8th grade.  He said he knew my whole life pretty much revolved around basketball (which was completely true) and he couldn’t understand why I missed every Saturday morning basketball practice (our most important practice of the week) to attend confirmation classes at my church.  On the call, I admitted to him that I would have rather been at practice, but my parents made me go to confirmation every Saturday.  

He said his family and none of his other friends ever attended church and he knew nothing about it.  However, he thought it must be important if I was willing to give up basketball for it.  He said this small thing lit a spark inside him to investigate it more which he did throughout high school and college.  He said he finally became a Christian about the time he graduated from college and always remembered how he first got interested in finding out about Jesus.

As Pastor Dave often says, “God waists nothing!”  

Heavenly Father, I pray that, as Christians and your disciples, we can reflect the light that constantly radiates from you and that it will be a blessing to us and others.  Amen.

Brad Gauen