It’s not everyday that you sit across from a college freshman at Starbucks and she asks if you can get her a Bible.
I was meeting with this girl because she filled out a form at a huge campus event saying she was interested in joining a Bible study. That’s all. I had never met her before, we’d never talked outside of a few text messages, and I had no information about her background—spiritual or otherwise. She brought another first-year student with her, possibly for moral support, and they both sat and chatted with me for a few minutes about the first week of classes, where they were from, etc. etc. I asked about their spiritual backgrounds and they shared a similar story of knowing who God was but not knowing what to do with that information. So I shared the gospel with them. In as casual a tone as I would tell you about a day of classes I explained the profound mysteries of the cross. When I had finished detailing the various ways my campus ministry chooses to express and celebrate these mysteries, I asked the girls if they had any questions. Being my fourth meeting of a similar nature that week, I expected a sheepish no or a redirection to more practical things, like meeting times and places. Instead, the aforementioned request was posed.
For a practicing Christian in America, this is a revealing moment. There are so many realities that exist behind that statement. First of all, a desire to read the scriptures for herself. If you’ve been around youth groups or college ministries or even just the church in general, you probably know how rare that can be. An earnest, original desire to know what the Bible actually says is unknown to us. So many churchgoers, particularly in the south, have become unresponsive to the scriptures. We tattoo them on our skin, hang them on our walls, and quote them at people that gross us out, but we aren’t curious about them anymore. We don’t think they have anything more to offer us. But she was so sober in her questioning and absolutely thrilled when she finally had a Bible in hand. I offered one to her friend as well and even before she received it she was thanking me based on how excited her friend was.
It also represents a pivotal moment in this young woman’s relationship with her creator. By asking for a Bible she’s essential asking to get to know God, and her Holy Father is rejoicing. Her whole life he has been calling her name and she’s finally listening. Can we collectively take a moment to celebrate that? Someone said yes! Speak, Lord, I’m listening! I grew up in the church constantly hearing a call to “pray the sinner’s prayer” and “start a personal relationship with Christ.” I’m so used to it that I’ve stopped caring when someone actually does it. How awful is that? I don’t want to rush past these moments anymore, but instead savor them as a rare glimpse into sacred ground.
That’s how I started my last year at college. And if that’s just the start, how much more will he do? And if that’s all he’s doing with me, how much more is he doing for you? Do you need to say yes to the Lord? to a sacrifice? to a calling? Try to remember what it was like the first time you experienced Christ and the word of God. Do you still have that desire for the scriptures? Do you still have that same desire for Christ? We have such a short amount of time on this earth to say yes. But we can do it, and if so, we get to experience the joy of others saying yes too!
This post was written by Taylor Bump, a student at the University of North Florida