My husband’s sons don’t get to see each other often, though they both live in Michigan, a state roughly the size of Great Britain. So when the two had a reunion recently, there was a lot they could have talked about.
The younger brother is an on-fire Christian, but his much older brother is an urbane intellectual and culturally connected big city musician, the kind of person that greatly exposes my own personal fear of man. I have met him and his urbane, intellectual, culturally connected girlfriend several times and have never broached the subject of Jesus with them. It is possible that we have tangentially discussed “religion” as a topic among many, but not a saving relationship with the Son of God who died on the cross, i.e., the “foolishness of the gospel” (1 Corinthians 1:18). I say this to my shame.
You see, I have been hoping for just the right opening to bring up spiritual things with the older brother. I have tried to be sensitive to time and place and mood. I also told myself that he and his girlfriend have surely heard the story of Jesus over the years. (As Paul said to Festus and Agrippa in Acts, “This has not been done in a corner.”) The two of them simply were not yet ready to bend the knee, and I would be happy to talk to them whenever they show interest.
Not the younger brother. He walked into his older brother’s house, and within the first few minutes he said, “I love you, brother. I need to know how you stand with Jesus.”
It was a bit awkward at first, but my husband, his two sons, and the girlfriend ended up spending the entire evening talking about Jesus (not religion). At first, the older brother and his girlfriend did try to make the discussion about religion, and, like the woman at the well (John 4), they talked about everything church-related except salvation. But by the end of the night, evidence that demands a verdict had been clearly spoken, in love.
And I, for one, was edified by what transpired. It turns out that if you can never seem to find the right time to talk to someone about Jesus, you can simply do it at any of the “wrong” times.