Sometimes when we share Christ with someone, we have no idea how deeply that seed has been implanted in their heart, and how God can cause it to germinate and grow in His good timing. Here is a little personal story to illustrate that fact.
About 21 years ago, my husband and I were newlyweds living in Florence, Alabama. As I have shared before, I was "away" from the church and the Lord at that time, and my husband had basically no interest at all in studying the Bible or going to church. Then we met a person through a mutual friend that changed both our outlooks toward Christianity; of all things, he was "Church of Christ". He immediately "took us under his wing" and invited us to his house to talk. He seemed genuinely interested in us and in our lives. He talked to us about things we were interested in...literature, current events, sports, our concerns, etc. AND of course, Jesus was brought into the conversation whenever it was appropriate. We felt that he was being a friend to us because he cared, not because we were potential converts. My husband said that he was the first "Christian" he had ever met that seemed to just want to be his friend with no strings attached.
Normally we would have run like crazy from this man that we knew was very active in his church, a preacher/teacher and very outspoken about his love for the Lord. But there was something about him that drew us to him and made us want to hear more and more. He ACCEPTED us for who we were and where we were and did not try to cram a lot of useless "religious jargon" down our throats. To many of our questions he just said, "I don't know but I will find out". He was so real and so honest in his discussion of his faith. When he invited us to church (his Sunday School class) I went but my husband did not want to go. The man did not seem offended by this, and invited my husband to his office to talk several times after that (where they discussed the Lord probably more than he would have gotten at church.) The young adult class at Chisholm Hills that he taught was the most spiritually uplifting thing I had ever encountered in my life. I had never seen anything like it in a church of Christ or anywhere. People were genuinely happy and joyful. They were "filled with the Spirit" in a way I had never seen before. I loved it and felt that the faith I had been looking for was within my grasp at last. Unfortunately, just as I was beginning to feel comfortable at the church, we moved to Virginia. We exchanged a couple of letters...one when my father died...which brought me to tears. But as things often go, we lost communcation after the first couple of years. I was thinking about him this week for some reason. I guess this new interest in the Lord and trying to find my way in the church of Christ has sparked some old memories of the conversations I had with him. I still remember the words of Jesus that he spoke to my heart...the grace that came through his lips...that's the power of sowing a seed....words can kill or they can heal and bring life even after 21 years.