Have you ever witnessed an accident and then had to give an account? It’s humbling to stand at the scene watching the officer write down your words. The future life of a person’s record and insurance claims are in your hands.
I’ve witnessed my share of accidents, but one I experienced last week brought the burden of witness upon my shoulders. I met the young girl on a dirt road and saw that she got too close to the loose edge of the gravel. After she passed me, I looked in my rear view mirror and witnessed her fishtailing and eventually rolling her car in a cloud of dust. I whipped around not knowing what I’d find, my adrenaline taking over. Thankfully, the car landed upright and the 17-year-old girl sat behind the wheel shaken, but appearing fine. The rear end of the car had the most damage so the spot where she sat cocooned her body. Items from her car lay strewn across the ditch including a Fellowship of Christian Athletes Bible. She climbed out, we hugged, she cried, and we shook.
Then the witnessing process began. The sheriff and deputies, paramedics, and ambulance arrived. I retold the story to each one, choosing my words carefully. My name, address, phone number, and drivers license were recorded. “How fast was she going?” the sheriff asked me. “I don’t know,” I replied and I didn’t. I’m a terrible judge of speed and distance. Luckily he didn’t press me with that one and moved on to another question. It humbled me knowing that my words would affect this young girl’s life, especially in the days ahead.
Christ calls us to be His witnesses as well. And I’m just as humbled. My words and actions (especially my actions!) will, unfortunately, either draw someone to Christ or allow them to think they’re just as well without Him. I realize Christ is bigger than my mess-ups, but it’s still a position of humbling power. The disciples and early followers of Christ were witnesses to what they saw. We don’t have that story to tell, but we have our own. Peter tells us to “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” – 1 Peter 3:15b. God is sovereign and spreads His message however He chooses. But for some reason, one of the ways is through us – those who have experienced His redeeming Love. Paul also tells us, “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us.” – 2 Corinthians 5:20. This appeal is someone’s future life – someone’s eternity.
Father God, thank you for entrusting us with Your message – the witness of Your redeeming love in our life. Forgive us when we fail You and fall short and perhaps cause someone to stumble. Oh, please forgive us! It’s a humbling position, and we rely on Your grace and sovereignty. – In Jesus Name, Amen.