It happens every year at this time. Yesterday, April 4th, was the anniversary of the most life-giving conversation of my life. 

I can’t think of April 4th without thinking of Carol Steward and what she told me that day. Carol was my wife Janet’s roommate in college and maid of honor at our wedding.  We’ve been friends ever since.

If you listen to our You Were Made for This Podcast, you’ll also know Carol as the one who introduces each episode. On April 4, 1968, Carol told me about Jesus in a way that made sense to me for the first time in my life. It was the most life-giving conversation I’ve ever had. 

Our conversation

Carol was a new believer herself on the day she talked with me. She went through a small mustard-colored booklet with me entitled, “Have You Heard of the Four Spiritual Laws?”  I had not heard of them. The Ten Commandments, sure. I wondered if maybe these four spiritual laws were the abridged or Cliff Notes version. They explained how everyone could have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I had never heard this before.

One thing led to another, and that night, Janet and I, as 19-year-old college freshmen, committed our lives to Jesus. He chose our nervous college friend to be the first person to ever tell us about Himself in a way that made a difference in our life.

I wrote about this life-giving conversation in my book, THEM – The Richer Life Found in Caring for Others. You can find it in chapter 7.

For the past several years, I call Carol each April 4th to thank her for her courage and obedience in telling me about Jesus for the first time. It still moves me to think where I’d be today if she had not.  

Life and death

Within hours of becoming Christ-followers on April 4th, 1968, we learned of the assassination of Martin Luther King, jr.  The TVs in our student union were broadcasting nothing else that evening. We found life the same day he found death. The coincidence still chills me.

When I think of what Carol did for me that day, it reminds me that I can initiate the same life-giving conversation myself with other people. Several years ago, for example, a former high school student of mine from my teaching days in the ’70s found me on Facebook and reconnected with me after all these years. 

Her husband then began sending contributions to our Caring for Others ministry, prompting Janet and me to ask if we could meet. They invited us to their home, where at the end of the evening, he told me, “We want to help you because you were the first person to tell Geralyn about Jesus when she was your student.” 

Fast forward to early last year when we got the news that Geralyn had died. Janet and I went to the funeral, sad that cancer had taken her from her husband and children but grateful she is now in heaven. I know for a fact she’s there because she responded to the life-giving conversation I had with her about Jesus decades earlier. She responded just as I did to the same life-giving conservation Carol had with me years before.   

What About You?

What are the life-giving conversations people have had with you? How have they changed your life?  I wonder what life-giving conversations God would want you to initiate with someone, as Carol did with me.

I’d love to hear your answers.

Related podcast episodes

021: The Most Important Relationship of All   

  100: Start Conversations With Remembering

101: Life-Giving Relationships

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Our blog posts and our You Were Made for This podcast are sponsored by Caring for Others, a missionary care ministry.