My wife, Kristin, and I just got back from a two-day trip to Austin. We had a lot of fun, and along the way, we would stop what we were doing and start conversations with those around us. Without fail, these people would ask me. “What do you do for work?” and I would proudly respond with, “I am a pastor.” One of these conversations turned into a very interesting opportunity for me to share my hope in Christ.

We were at the Hula Hut on Lake Austin, and one of the ladies from the area looked at Kristin and me and asked what we were doing in Austin. I wanted to respond quickly with something snarky, but Kristin beat me to the answer and said she was there for a principal’s conference. The conversation went on for a bit about education, then she asked me what I did for work.

She responded the same way most people do: “Ohh… that’s nice… good for you.” Then she boldly proclaimed, “I don’t believe in God. I wish I did, but I just can’t believe that stuff.”

Immediately, I started to think about the power of that statement, but the conversation went on from How can I know that God is real? to Where did we come from? to Russia, and then to how awful the world is, and how badly things are going for the U.S.

We didn’t get to spend a whole lot of time talking about God, because she would jump from subject to subject, but the times we did get to talk about him, we focused on the Love of God. When it was time for us to go, I challenged her to think about this question: Where does love come from?

I knew that God had put this lady in my path to remind me of something powerful. Not everyone believes like me, and there are always people around us that need to hear about the love of Christ!

I couldn’t get that conversation out of my head the whole night, and I even woke up thinking about it. I hope and pray that this hits home with some of us, and it encourages us to share our hope in Jesus, to proclaim his love to others, and to start a conversation with someone we don’t know.

A few questions to consider: How often do I purposely bring the up the hope I have in Christ? How many people do I know that are non-believers? What gets in my way of starting these conversations?

but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,
— 1 Peter 3:15