Penelope got to know her new neighbor, Raquel, and her family, but they never seemed interested in hearing about the Bible. However, when a crisis in her family struck, Raquel confided in Penelope, opening the door for a deep spiritual conversation and even a DBS! Here is Penelope to share what happened.
Putting in the Time to Get to Know Her New Neighbors Led to Spiritual Conversations
My new neighbor, Raquel, and her family moved in a few months back and we’ve gotten to know one another over walks, dinners and block parties. The very first time we had them over for dinner, we had spiritual conversations, so I knew it was something she was open to talking about.
However, it was harder to get from spiritual to discovery. When I would share something about the Bible or my faith, Raquel would listen politely and say something like, “Oh that’s nice,” but then immediately change the subject. Nonetheless, I continued to pray for her and meet for our walks through the neighborhood.
A Crisis in Raquel’s Life Opened the Door to Go Deeper
One day, during our walk, I asked her how her daughter was doing and Raquel broke down.
She explained that her daughter lives in Hollywood, has possible substance issues and can’t be trusted anymore. Raquel and her husband don’t like the crowd she’s running with or the lifestyle she’s adopted, and they’re wary of letting her near their home for fear she’ll steal their money or property to support said lifestyle.
As she poured out her heart, Raquel confessed that she and her husband were really struggling and didn’t know what to do.
“Raquel,” I said, “you know that I believe in God.”
“Yeah, I know.”
“And I know you believe in some kind of higher spiritual power.” During some of our spiritual conversations, she talked about tarot cards and a deep spiritual experience she had with a psychic.
“So,” I said, “I believe God can come into this situation with your daughter because I have seen Him come into times of turmoil in my life and give me peace. And, there are other women in this neighborhood whom I’ve taken on a spiritual journey and watched as God met them in their struggles and freed them.”
Penelope’s Shrewdness Led to a ‘Yes’ to DBS
I did not tell her that I would be guiding her in a Bible study because she had been unresponsive to conversations about the Bible in the past. Instead, I simply told her it was a “spiritual journey.”
“Raquel,” I asked, “would you like to see God come into your family’s situation and work supernaturally like he did for these other women?”
“Yes!” She exclaimed.
“What would you be willing to sacrifice to see this happen?
“I’d be willing to sacrifice almost anything at this point because this is my daughter.” I then asked Raquel if she would be willing to come with me on the same spiritual journey I had taken the other women in our neighborhood on.
“Yes. I’d be willing to try anything,” she said. “Can we start next Wednesday?”
And that’s where we’re at! Again, she doesn’t know it’s going to be a Bible study, but if she comes in and says, “Wait a second, that’s the Bible,” I will remind her that she said she’d be willing to try anything to see her daughter healed and restored.
I won’t force her to do it if she doesn’t want to, but I’m hoping that God will use this crisis in her family to open her heart to discovering Him in His Word.
We have to put in the time it takes to show ourselves a friend to people. Disciple making is a long, slow process. Penelope and her family not only graciously welcomed Raquel’s family to the neighborhood and into their home, but also committed to engaging them for the long haul. Months of conversations over walks, meals and neighborhood outings showed Raquel that Penelope was someone she could trust.
Don’t write anyone off. When people don’t seem open to hearing about God and His Word, it can be tempting to assume they’ll never be interested. For months, Raquel wasn’t interested in talking about the Bible or going deep spiritually, but Penelope didn’t give up. She continued praying for Raquel and engaging her in conversation on walks until a crisis brought her to a place of being willing to try anything.
Being shrewd with our words can be the difference between a ‘no’ and a ‘yes’ to DBS. Penelope knew that Raquel hadn’t been open to hearing or talking about the Bible but was in a place of deep spiritual desperation, so she put her invitation to do DBS in a way that wouldn’t push Raquel away but would at least get her to one meeting. We’ll see what the Lord does with that!