This weekend was awesome. Sunday morning Ted concluded our “Life Unscripted” series with a message entitled, “A Makeover Story” and I ended our worship gathering by interviewing a woman named Reema who just recently made a decision to become a Christ follower. Her story is amazing.
Reema was raised by her Muslim father and mother (non-Muslim) and grew up with religion playing a very minimal role in her life. As far back as she can remember she felt something missing in her life. Occasionally, as a teenager, she would sneak out and visit a local church. She loved the feeling that she got in church. She called that feeling the “Christmas feeling”.
About 10 or 11 months ago, Reema began attending our church (Orchard Valley Community Church). She had never been a part of a Christian church and had never even opened up a Bible.
Throughout the last year she became a part of our church community (see this post from September... it's about her!) and brought lots and lots of questions to the table. We did our best to offer her a safe place to ask questions and to seek answers. Reema and I began engaging in an ongoing email conversation about God, unconditional love, and a bunch of other subjects.
On several occasions, Reema would come up to me after church and say, “I’m not ready yet, but I’m almost there…” or “I just want to make sure I really mean it when I make that commitment.”
We became her friend. We didn’t try to “convert” her. We didn’t try to rush her into making a commitment that she didn’t understand. We told her to take her time – to ask questions and to get to know other Christ followers. And she did.
A few weeks ago on a Friday afternoon, Reema called me at my office and said, “Scott, I’m ready. I’m ready to say “that” prayer – I want to make it official.” So that following Sunday, Amanda and I sat down with her and prayed with her. It was an awesome moment.
Last Sunday after telling her story we water baptized her – in front of the entire church. As she walked up the steps of the baptism tank, tears began flowing down her cheeks as she realized the magnitude of what this meant. The second she came out of the water people jumped up on their feet and clapped and cried and clapped some more and cried some more. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place. It was powerful. Everyone in the room witnessed the next chapter in Reema’s spiritual journey.
I’m not sure I’ve ever been so moved by something in my life. Even as I write this I am overcome with emotion as I think about Reema and what I witnessed in her life over the past year.
Tuesday, May 18