Not long ago---just before I retired from full time employment---my boss came to work with me for two hectic days. I was a sales rep for an equipment manufacturer and I traveled heavily. I picked him up at the airport and we began our journey---a pounding drive that would take us to three states and seven sales calls.
We were scarcely on the highway when he reached over and picked up a little 1 1/2" high silver cross I keep in the storage area of my car, where it was intermingled with some loose change. He stared at it a second before flipping it back into the coinage.
"You believe that stuff?", he probed.
I paused a few seconds, trying to consider why he would ask such a question. I sensed that he was possibly struggling with his own faith.
"Yes", I answered. "Why do you ask?"
Now it was his turn to get in touch with his true self. "Well, I dunno......It just seems so far-fetched".
"What seems far-fetched?"
"Well....you know....all that Adam and Eve stuff and that Ark story and Jesus coming back to life.......You don't really believe that stuff really happened, do you?"
"Why wouldn't I?"
"Well.........there isn't any proof any of that happened."
"Look, Joe (I'll call him Joe)---What do you know about the Christian religion?"
"Well, my wife and I took our children to church for a few years---until they were teenagers, because we thought it would be good for them. But I am no expert on religion. I never could get past the fact that the bible seems to be just one big short story book and the stories are all like hocus pocus stuff that can't be verified or proven."
This conversation continued for the entire time we were together. It was obvious to me that the man was struggling with his faith. In short, if he couldn't see something with his own eyes or read a scientific investigation of it that proved its existence, he was unable to allow himself to believe.
I quietly did my best to point out that Christians "live by faith, not by sight", as the apostle Paul wrote (2 Corinthians 5:7). I made sure Joe understood what this meant...that if one truly believes, one will truly see. This was hard for Joe to grasp. I mentioned "faith" over and over, and we discussed what that word means.
The discussion was long and the discussion was pleasing to me. I know God put Joe in that car with me for two days because Joe was struggling with his faith, and God wanted me to help Joe.
I recall the last words I said to Joe upon returning home---the words of Jesus after he had returned to the disciples following the resurrection: "Blessed are those who have seen and believe. More blessed are those who have come to believe and have not seen." (John 20:29)
I only saw Joe one more time---a brief encounter right before my retirement. I do not know where Joe ended on his journey of seeking his faith. But I am thankful to God for giving me the chance to perhaps make a small difference to another pilgrim seeking salvation.