The other day I was at the department store when I saw a fan on sale. I contemplated purchasing it for myself since the warmer weather will be coming soon, but then I suddenly had the thought that I should purchase it for my brother-in-law instead. My brother-in-law hates to be hot. I knew he would use it and this one was really nice. It has multiple settings, six speeds, the ability to set it to automatically turn on and off at pre-determined intervals and a remote control. It’s just a fan, but as fans go, it’s a pretty cool one.
I was nervous about giving it to him because we have a very strained relationship and we never exchange gifts. He is an atheist and limits the exposure his children have to me because he doesn’t want me influencing them. He assumes all Christians are unintelligent and hypocritical. More than that, he holds a lot of bitterness and anger towards Christians. I can understand his feelings because he was hurt very badly as a child when his father became a “Christian” and walked out on the family, never to support him again. The only contact he had with his father after that was the occasional phone call where his father would tell him repeatedly that he is going to hell. When this is your experience of Christianity, it is natural to distrust Christians.
I took a chance and gave him the fan. I felt that it was God who gave me the idea in the store, so despite my nervousness, I went through with it. And you know what? He sent me a text message the next day that said, “I just wanted to say thank you for my new fan. It is perfect for me and you can rest assured that it will get used every day. Thanks again. I love you.”
This simple text is incredibly touching to me and it is a gift for which I am very grateful. My brother-in-law went out of his way to thank me and show appreciation. He even expressed brotherly love. I stand amazed at the goodness of God! I see the door opening a little. I hope to be able to show him that not all Christians are like his father. Although we make mistakes, most of us are genuinely trying to live for Christ and to show His love. It is my prayer that one day he will be converted and model Christ in a way that his father never did.