Twenty-six years ago, I was a sixteen year old girl. I had made a decision for Jesus a few years earlier. I was young, full of great hope, excited about a life with Jesus, full of potential (I’m still very much all those things) and much to the annoyance of some people, I couldn’t or wouldn’t, stop talking about Jesus. I loved Him. I still do. Only now, even more.
My own family wished I would talk about something else other than my love for Jesus and His church…but it just consumed me.
One day, in my tenth grade English class, we had a substitute teacher who didn’t have the regular curriculum to follow. So, she asked us to prepare a three-minute speech. Probably not the wisest choice, asking sixteen year olds to get up and talk about anything they wanted for three minutes. It was a bit risky.
I didn’t have to think twice. I would get up and tell everyone, I loved Jesus. Give them a couple of bible verses. Then ask them to make a decision right in that moment. What could be easier?…Nothing! …Easy!
I waited for my turn. Finally, I got up and spoke plainly to the class about Jesus. A lot of people responded. I was pretty excited. It was a good day for heaven. I was sixteen and wouldn’t have thought much more about it, but…
Just as I finished, the school bell sounded marking the end of class. Most of the students got up to leave in the usual way but a few students were sitting in their seats with stunned looks on their faces. They were looking at the teacher who was behind me, still in her seat.
I turned around and saw her–I can still see her–head in her hands, elbows leaning on her desk, shoulders heaving, she was crying. She was about thirty years old, wearing a floral dress and she had inky black hair. She stood up to dismiss the other students, all except for me. I thought I was in trouble.
It took a moment for her to begin to speak. I wasn’t in trouble. She began to tell me she was a christian and had never told anyone outside her church and her family because of fear. She told me, she used the excuse that her religion was private; something she held close to her heart and it was, she had thought, no-body else’s business.
She said, as she heard me talking about how much I loved Jesus, it made her realize how wrong she was. Then, she kept crying.
Now, please understand, I was just sixteen. I didn’t know how to process why a grown woman was crying in front of me.
I left the class room with only one thing on my mind, there are christians who don’t talk about their faith in Jesus. I was shocked by that. I couldn’t understand why?
I wasn’t shocked that people responded, I expected that. I was surprised by the teachers initial reaction. Even thinking I might be in trouble, somehow, for that.
But I was completely shocked to learn there are christians who don’t talk about their faith in Jesus. I was thinking, how can they keep quiet about Him?