Why we're here...

Love and marriage are the greatest adventures in life, and they point they way to our relationship with the Almighty.

We're honored to be a member of the Christian Marriage Bloggers Association...click on their logo to visit them.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Saving Souls

I never led anyone to Jesus.

In most of the places I worked (colleges), I was the unofficial chaplain - the go-to guy for religious doubt, personal crises, and the occasional suicidal impulse.

I was known as being religious, and my door was always open to people of any faith. I've read the Quran, and Bhagavad Gita, and many Buddhist texts, along with the Bible and the Book of Mormon.

It sounds like these would have been perfect opportunities to bring folks to the cross, but looks are deceiving. It would have been a betrayal. And I think that there is the challenge that faces chaplains everywhere - official or not.

In that role, you're a lightning rod for hurt, fear, and despair. Your first job is to simply listen, sometimes for hours, until the rush of words starts to ease.

Then you can ask guiding questions, NOT to "place the Lord in their heart" but to stop the bleeding FROM the heart.  These are questions like, "Do you have friends who'll help you?" "Do you want me to talk with your professors, see if we can get your exams postponed?"

These are questions that help the hurting find an anchor in normal.

Is it time to trot out Jesus?


The next step is to formulate a plan of action - where to get help, if further help is needed, or what to do as an individual. Oh, and now's a good time to take possession of the pistol that the guy bent on suicide brought with him.

And then, you walk the person to the next place of safety. Whether it's a friend's apartment or a counselor's office, you take the long walk with them.

And you don't talk about Jesus.

Why? Why ignore Him, when He can offer comfort?

Because it's not the time. It's not the time for the agenda of saving souls. It's about making sure that the soul stays intact enough to save.


  1. Andrew, great thoughts. It seems to me, God can use the hurting times to prepare the heart for when the time comes to seriously consider Jesus. It sounds like you've got a good understanding of knowing what people need in the moment—salvaging the heart and letting actions and caring prepare it for a one-day possibility of one day knowing Him.

    1. It's a hard line to walk, and I was lucky to learn that I had to be willing to get my ego out from under God's feet.

      We all want to make a difference, but sometimes the biggest difference we can make is in giving God room to work.

  2. How am I not surprised you are the one they went to?Well said, Andrew.