Oct 11, 2010

I wish I had known...

It was Sunday afternoon. The dinner table was empty although just an hour before it was filled with family laughing, discussing the Sunday sermon and enjoying Sunday dinner. Everyone had retired to rest before the evening service and I was the lone person up and about sweeping the steps outside my parents’ front door. I can’t remember what the sermon was that day but I remember that I was happy and humming as I swept.

It was at this time that two teenage young men, one of whom I had known his entire life, walked by. “Good afternoon,” they called out.

“Good afternoon,” I responded then added, “Did you take time out to go to church today and give God thanks for keeping you through out last week?”

One of the young men stopped and talked to me for a minute and the other continued walking as if he hadn’t heard. The young man that stopped was not known to me. However he seemed interested in what I had to say and in the short time he stopped I told him about the importance of developing a relationship with God and taking time to give Him thanks for the gift of life.

I never saw the young man who continued walking again. A week later he and two others went missing during a boating trip. When I heard the news I felt as if I had been punched in the gut. I stood there shell shocked and then I cried.

I cried because of a young life that was gone too soon.

I cried because of the uncertainty, the not knowing whether he’d made it right with God.

I cried because if I knew that those words were going to be the last words I would ever speak to that young man I would have called him by name as he walked away and tried harder to have a conversation about God. However, I didn’t know. None of us know which opportunity will be the last opportunity we have to tell someone about Christ.

It’s been almost ten years since this happened and I still remember it vividly as if it happened yesterday. It is a reminder to me to take every opportunity to share Christ with others. For when I take my last breath on this Earth I want to know above all that I’ve pointed others to my Lord and savior Jesus Christ.

Trusting Him,


  1. Precious friend,

    What came to my heart in reading the tenderness of your heart is that perhaps the other young man didn't stop because he already knew the LORD and GOD intended for the one young man who did stop to hear what you had to say.

    Powerful sharing here and reminder to us all.

    Blessings and love to you.

  2. Beautiful story Bernadine. Who knows what your words may have sparked in this young man. You should be totally at peace because you offered an invitation and isn't that what Jesus did? I think that our Lord put him in your path for a reason. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I shared about your heart for the Lord on my blog. Hope you don't mind. Love ya! Praying for you.

  4. Hi Bernadine,
    Dropping by to visit you from Lisa's blog.
    Love your precious reminder and thank you for sharing.
    I look forward to following you.
    Have a wonderful day!

  5. I needed to read this. It can be hard for me to get out of my comfort zone and reach out to people unknown to me. Thank you for sharing this story and motivating me to try harder.

  6. All we can really do is lead others to Jesus... gently...and pray for them. This is especially good for me to read as I have a hard time sometimes telling people about my beliefs. We can often want to agree with everyone and for everyone to agree with us. Keep spreading the message of God with love. :) :)

  7. Hi Bernadine:
    I came over from Lisa's page and I sure enjoyed your blog. I love your sensitive heart, and I'm sure this will always be used in your own life. I hope he is in heaven.



  8. Such a powerful story, Bernadine. I so LOVE Lisa's comment above...and I pray it was the case.

    You have a lovely site, my friend. Blessings!

  9. Bernadine,
    One summer break in high school I bumped into a friend of mine. His dad had gone wild with drinking and partying, breaking up his family and making a huge mess in life. I wanted to say something to my friend to encourage him, let him know I was sorry, etc., but had no idea what to say. So, we just said, hello, looked at each other awkwardly, and walked on. He was killed in an accident (riding with his dad) later that summer. I have some of the same feelings (over 30 years later) that you describe from your encounter. I've learned that if you feel led to reach out, then reach out! Right then. It may well be the Spirit's nudging.

    Good post.

  10. Bernadine,

    Stopping by to become a follower of your amazing blog today. You truly do have a gift with words and finding just the right way to inspire us to become better Christians. Thank you for that, and I look forward to getting to know you through your posts and by stopping by.

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

  11. Hi Bernadine - lovely to meet you. I'm over from Lisa's place and am so happy she sent us your way. This post is an important reminder that any chance may be our last chance to share our Lord and Savior with another. Blessings to you this day!

  12. Hi Bernadine!

    I am a visitor from Lisa Shaw's blog. I just met Lisa. I was telling her she has an awesome blog and ministry.

    Your story took my breath away. You are absolutely right. We never know when someone is going to be taken from this life, so it's important for us to share Christ with people on a regular basis.

    I am now following your blog. I really like making connections with my brothers and sisters in Christ through blogging. I invite you to come visit my blog. I just started a devotional writing blog in August. I write devotionals and combine them with my photography whenever possible. I also write longer devotionals based on current events in the news. Hope to talk with you soon!


  13. Such a sweet reminder, love you.

  14. Hi Bernadine -

    I came also from Lisa's blog.

    This is a strong and important reminder to us to share the love of our Lord.

    Thank you so much for this heart moving piece!

  15. This is my first time on your blog, and I just want you to know reading some of your recent posts (Yes, I did read a few)has been such an encouragement.

    Your words are honest and full of wisdom.

    I thank God for leading me to your blog today.

    He certainly used you to bless my heart today.


  16. Powerful message Bernadine. It is a reminder to me that there is not better time than the present to share His love and redemption with others.

    Love & peace,
    <>< Iris


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