March 31, 2013 by John Nicholas Prassas
It’s been years since I met the Lady in Black, but she came to mind as I prayed about what to share with you for Easter.
She intercepted me as soon as I arrived. She was 60-something, had silver hair, a friendly smile and was wearing all black, with a definite New Age vibe.
I literally fell into her clutches as she steered me away from my wife and kids.
“I’ve been looking forward to talking with you!” she beamed, as if she knew all about me. “I’ve got relatives who believe in the same philosophy you do.” Her voice hinted at a challenge.
“Philosophy?” I replied, my blood pressure rising, not being a great fan of the genre.
“You know,” she continued, “your religion.” She apparently knew I was attending seminary.
I spent the next twenty minutes sparring with her, taking questions and comments like punches. I kept telling her as politely as I could that I wasn’t into philosophy or religion, but was into a relationship with God through Jesus, pure and simple. I kept trying to focus our conversation on the person of Jesus Christ, but to no avail.
Like so many religious debates, our conversation was going nowhere.
Finally I cried out in my heart, “Father, I give up! What can I say to this woman?”
What I heard in my spirit was encouragement to share a condensed version of the gospel he had given me a week before. “Tell her what I told you.”
And so I did.
Without thinking I gently put a hand on her shoulder, gazed into her eyes and said, “Look, all I can tell you is that Jesus loves you so much he was willing to die for you. And the same power that raised him from the grave can give you new life.”
Her lip quivered, her eyes moistened and suddenly she broke.
Something deep within her cracked, releasing sobs she tried to suppress but couldn’t. She quickly excused herself and hurried toward the bathroom with tears flowing.
Her husband, who had silently watched and listened, shook his head and said, “Boy, you sure did it to her!” He was both amazed and amused.
I assured him it was beyond me. But then I asked, “Does she cry like that a lot?”
His smile disappeared as he looked at me and said, “She never cries.”
I never learned who the Lady in Black was and didn’t see her again that evening, as I rejoined my family and mixed into the party.
But I knew she had encountered the life-changing impact of Easter.
The love of Jesus at the cross. The resurrection power of God at the empty tomb.
Today I pray we experience the same impact, that it bursts through our resistant minds and hardened hearts, that we be UN-DONE by the experience, like the Lady in Black.
I pray we also remember to ask God for insight, to help us get past appearances and cut through the chatter to reach whoever we meet, whatever they may say or whatever they may wear.
Thank you heavenly Father for the simplicity and power of Easter. Help us to embrace your sacrificial love and resurrection power like never before, and to share it with others you put in our path. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen!
Got any related thoughts or experiences? Please comment at bottom of page.
And be sure to sign up below to receive my blog posts: