An apologists conference was hardly the place I expected to receive a personal God-gift moment.
You know— that kind of encounter that prompts the soul to swell in a spontaneous “Thank you."
What I did expect from the Truth for a New Generation Conference was to be informed and challenged about the urgency of knowing and presenting truth in such a time as this.
A time when*
- The Internet has surpassed TV as the media of choice, and you are one of the more than two billion people on it at this moment. (That’s a little less than one-third of all the people on this planet, including those in dense jungles, third-world villages yet to see an electric wire, and the vast barren lands of Siberia.)
- Atheists, pornographers, and predators have an unhindered access to kids that they didn’t have fifteen years ago.
- The freckled-face twelve-year-old boy upstairs belongs to the largest consumer group of porn on the Internet—twelve to seventeen year-olds.
A time when eighty-four per cent of youth can’t explain how the Bible is relevant to them, and church pews are filled with people who don’t really believe what they believe is real.
The conference did not disappoint. Apologists from around the country offered an array of workshops. My notepad was filled with everything from how Frank Zappa’s intentional endeavor to make “ugly music” reflected a worldview that doesn’t seek goodness or God to arguments for a First Cause.
By mid afternoon I had saturated my capacity for information and decided to go to the resource room and do one of my favorite things—buy books.
My husband and I wandered up and down the aisles gathering websites and resources. Suddenly I stopped and pointed to a display of The Grace Effect.
“Oh look. I wrote a review on this book a few months ago. It’s about the impact of God’s grace on a country and the consequent societal darkness without it. The author’s family adopted Sasha, a little girl from a Ukrainian orphanage. He tells about the horrors and corruption they had to persevere through in order to get her.”
The young man tending the table listened and then said, “That’s my father. He wrote the book.”
Glad I had spoken favorably, I rummaged around in my memory for what rating I had given it. (You never know when those impersonal book reviews will take on flesh!)
We chatted a bit, and then he turned to the young woman next him who was bagging a book for a customer.
“And this is the one it is all about. This is Sasha.”
Sasha—the girl from a stark orphanage in the Ukraine, the girl who had no understanding why anyone would apologize to her for anything because she was an orphan and everyone knew an orphan had no value.
I looked at the lovely young woman, all lightness and confidence, working her father’s table. My heart filled with the goodness of the Lord, both for her and for giving me the opportunity to say,
“Sasha, you are beautiful.”
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.—John 1:5
* Stats from Josh McDowell's keynote address
Gave The Grace Effect a five(!)