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Call Waiting

by Tanya Tufanova  
4/03/2021 / Testimonies

Brrr…brrr…the dial tone jingled. Pick up, pick up, I thought, then I slapped the phone down. No, don’t pick up. I can’t do this. I love her too much. She’s my best friend, my only pal really. What if she doesn’t like me anymore? What if she won’t hang out ever again?

But I felt compelled, so I scooped up the handset a second time. Brrr…brrr… the phone buzzed again. This time, my forehead tensed and my throat tightened. Dear Jesus, I prayed. Make me fearless and fill me so full of love for Arabella that I can’t help but share You with her.

It was Sunday afternoon. I had arrived home from church a few moments ago with the sermon’s theme, The Great Commission, still booming in my ears. “Everyone dies, eventually,” the preacher had asserted, his eyes staring over his glasses. “Thousands will breathe their last today. Are you prepared? How about your friends and family, are they ready? Have you ever mentioned the coming judgement or have you spent your mingling together dilly dallying, neglecting to redeem the time? ”

I laboured at maintaining my concentration, but a recurring thought kept flying around my head. My family had always been Christian, or at least I had assumed, but not so according to my Nan. Prior to conversion, she had played Pai gow or rather, Pai gow, a Chinese gambling domino game, had played her, and my granddad had only a while ago returned from the war. He had always smoked, but now he puffed without ceasing, combat scenes still alive in his head.

A kind neighbour had noticed, and, perhaps in like manner as me, had leant over the fence, face reddening and heart pounding. “Fancy attending church with me this weekend, Clarence?”

Granddad had paused, Old Gold cigarette butt halfway to his lips, stewing over the notion. His mouth had scrunched and his eyes had squinted, then, “Sure, that sounds like a fine idea.”

“Great,” the neighbour had grinned, his crimson face bleaching. “We can walk there together. I’ll jangle your doorbell.”

And that’s how my family’s Christian legacy had dawned. From simple chit chat over the fence, my nan and granddad had converted along with their whole household, and then many other conversions in their grandchildren’s generation. One ignoble man’s spiritual down payment had grown and flourished and reaped a rich reward, and if he hadn’t done what he did, where would my nan, granddad, aunts, uncles, siblings and cousins be now? Not forgiven, that’s for sure; and not in a relationship with Jesus; and not on their way to Heaven.

And so now as I stood by the phone, wrapping and unwrapping its coiled phoneline around my fingers, I wondered what God would do with my evangelistic investment. Would He water it too? Would He nurture it too? Would He save Arabella and her whole entire family too? I sure was praying He would.

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