For the past two months, I’ve had the opportunity to meet the same medical professor on the same day of the week for the same purpose — talking about the Bible, Jesus Christ, and His gospel. For the purpose of anonymity, we will simply call him Robert. Shortly after completing his undergraduate degree, Robert was “called” (his word, not mine) into the field of medicine after standing by a dying woman in an ICU, wondering if he could develop equipment that could be used to prolong her life. Robert is a very intelligent Roman Catholic, morally upstanding in his own eyes.
We hit it off instantly one day in the coffee shop. I honestly can’t remember exactly how it happened — probably as it usually does. I typically feel like I should talk to the people around me — at least making an effort to speak to them about Jesus Christ. I look for “a way in,” something that can begin conversation, whether it pertains to what they are reading, what the newscast is about, the kind of coffee they are enjoying, or even things as lame as the weather trends.
As I get to know Robert, I found out that he is a Catholic malcontent. He and about 15 of his Catholic friends are meeting each week to discuss varying issues within the church and within theology. He told me which book they are reading and even gave me a copy. Since he had previously expressed a sincere respect for C.S. Lewis, I responded by giving him my copy of The Reason for God by Tim Keller, who I believe to be this generation’s version of CS.
A couple weeks later, he casually let me know that his thinking about God had been deeply challenged by Keller’s arguments, especially as it related to the gospel and the exclusivity of Jesus Christ. This provided an excellent opportunity for me to clarify and rehash the gospel with him. I was able to return to that moment when he was called into the medical profession and to ask him, “When you are the individual occupying the ICU bed, will you be ready to die and stand before Jesus Christ, the righteous Judge?”
I hope to spend a few future posts talking about some specific conversations we have had. But one thing is sure, Robert is more than an acquaintance. He is a friend. Can’t wait to see him this Thursday!