Thought for the Day
The big question
That Disconcerting Question
On a city winter afternoon I came across an old woman, sitting on a low wall alone. I asked her if she needed help. …She raised her head and looked straight at me. ‘Do you know Jesus?‘ loudly she asked. ‘Yes’ I quietly answered ‘I do know Jesus.‘ ‘And are you his friend?‘ She asked again. I was silenced.
They say that when you are drowning your life passes before you and something like this happened to me at that moment. For from this stranger on a city street had come a question which forced me to look at myself with uncompromising honesty.
To be a friend of anyone calls for commitment, faithfulness and love. Jesus warns us that to be his friend needs all this and more besides. Almost certainly persecution, possibly even death. It was with vivid awareness of my human frailties that I eventually managed to say ‘Yes! I think I am his friend. I know I want to be.’
Then she stood with difficulty, picked up her shopping bags and walked wearily off, down the darkening street. I went home reflecting on the honesty of my answer to one of the toughest questions I have ever been asked.