And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him.
Yesterday we had the opportunity to see one of my ol college buddies and his family. We had not seen him and his wife in about 10 years, and it had been at least 15 years since we had a family visit. As we sat around the table eating Pho with our families, he asked how I became a Christian.
I told him my story, and he explained his family was Christian as well. I was excited to hear that, but I did not get the chance to find out the details as our conversations moved along.
Why was this so exciting?
My friend and his family are Asian, and were born into the Buddhist culture. When you are born into a religion with all the cultural customs it is extremely hard to change.
Later that evening while we were visiting at their home I asked him, so how did you become Christian?
He explained, a few years ago his dad became terminally ill and was told he had one year to live. My friend’s dad and the entire family was heartbroken to discover such bad news. My friend’s dad was not afraid of dying, he was afraid of leaving his wife and family behind without his care.
Refusing to let death take him away without a fight, the family reached out and leaned on all the Buddhist customs. My friend explained, they tried everything, they even “chanted” a lot trying to channel spirits, anything that might remove the terminal illness in his dad.
Nothing helped, nothing worked.
While in the hospital, a Christian man walked into the room of my friend’s dad and asked if he could pray for him which he was allowed to do. The specific details were not clear, but my friend’s dad explained his spirit was uplifted! So much so, that he would accept Jesus Christ. He told his entire family (extended family as well), including my friend to follow in his footsteps and come to know Jesus so they would one day be reunited again.
It was a tremendously moving story to listen to and experience.
My friend explained, his dad still passed away, but his dad’s spirit remained uplifted throughout. My friend said, “My dad was at peace”.
On the day his dad passed away, my friend naturally had a lot of emotion. When he left the room, and walked outside opening the door, three white doves flew right in front of him. My friend explained, ‘That confirmed to me that Jesus was real, and my dad was with him’. His wife chimed in, “White doves do not live here”.
She was right, white doves do not live in that area. What they experienced was no doubt their own personal miracle.
I told my friend and his family, when Jesus was baptized, a white dove descended from Heaven which is also a sign of peace, (Matthew 3:16).
I could see the look in his eye, this added a little more to what he had already come to understand. Hopefully, it confirmed even more that his dad is with God in Heaven and made his faith a little stronger.
What about the man who prayed for my friend’s dad?
No one really knows who he is.
Just a Christian man who was in the right place at the right time. A Christian man who spared just a few moments of his time, a man who had enough courage to pray for a stranger, which led to the conversion of an entire family.
Thank you Jesus.