In 2004 there was a movie about Jesus’ crucifixion that was produced by Mel Gibson called “The Passion”. It was a very emotional movie and depicted the brutal treatment our Lord and Savior endured for us. I cried when I saw it and for many months after when I took communion. I know what the Bible says about how Jesus was beaten, whipped, had a crown of thorns, and was nailed to the cross. To have this acted out graphically was heart-wrenching. Jesus loved us so much He endured the unthinkable.
The movie theatre was five minutes from the Christian Bookstore that I owned with my parents. It was a Saturday night when a young woman came in. She had jet black hair, clothes, tights, nails, lips, and eye make up with chains going everywhere. Everything was black, leather or chains. I had never seen so many piercings. My daughter later told me it was called “gothic”. Needless to say she was not my typical customer.
The girl crashed through the door and breathlessly stated “I just saw the movie and need a book on Jesus!” My mind whirled. I asked if she wanted “More than a Carpenter” or “Case for Christ”. “No. Not it. That’s not it either.” She answered, “No, lady, I don’t know what it’s called but everybody has one.” Now, I understood, “Ohh, Max Lucado’s ‘And the Angels were Silent.’ Great book and a best seller!” I handed it to her and she really started getting upset with me. “Look, lady, I don’t know the name of this book, but they use them in all of the churches.” Goosebumps. I understood now. “Do you want a Bible?”
She grabbed my arms and shook me. “Yes, yes! That’s the name of it. Do you have one?” Certainly, I replied before turning and requesting help from my Dad. This young woman only wanted one book. We needed to teach her how to read and use a Bible taking the word “book” out of our explanation. Not so easy.
Dad asked her name, Heather. We prayed with her and her Bible. Dad told her to get involved in a church with young adults her age, and he reminded her to read her Bible starting with the book of John. Wrong thing to say. “But I only want one book sir, not 66.” So we tried another explanation and it worked. Heather thanked us over and over. Dad told her not to be a stranger here. Leaving with her new purple Bible and mascara tear stains on her cheeks, she left waving goodbye and smiling brightly.
Three months later a cute brunette came in asked to see me and Dad. She was dressed in a stylish but modest summer dress and had very little make up. When she asked if we knew her we were stumped. It was Heather all cleaned up and wholesome. She had been baptized, accepted Jesus, and never missed church. It brought happy tears to our eyes. She even volunteered with the youth group.
Being raised in a Christian home I was surprised to see someone in a small town in Indiana that did not have a Bible let alone know its name. How fortunate I am. How blessed. Growing up did you have a Bible in your home? Think of the others out there like Heather that haven’t seen the movie or been moved to “buy a book on Jesus”. They need our help. We need to spread the Word and God’s love. Heather was passionate for Jesus. Let’s make sure we are.
“And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.’”
Mark 16:15 NKJV
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
John 3:16 KJV