I don't think I've shared on this blog that I was a new believer, and I tell 'ya, I get insecure when I try to talk to someone about my faith. I don't know enough about the Bible or what it says to speak with any degree of confidence. But, I have found two topics, and when I speak on them, the words seem to flow out of my mouth; God's love and hope.
I love my two sons no matter what, and before I had children, I couldn't understand how someone could love me no matter how much I sinned or how angry I made them. I didn't get it even though I have been on the receiving end of that kind of unconditional love from my father many, many times. You read in the Bible numerous stories of God's love for His people, no matter how much they forsook or angered him. He still loved them, no matter what, with the love only a parent can have for their children. He even sacrificed his Son, Jesus, to save us. If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your savior, you are God's child, and He loves you unconditionally. No matter what.
I hope (heh, get it?) I'm not boring you with more stories about my kids, but I've learned a lot about life by being their Dad, and I like telling people about them. About a year and a half ago, our first pet died. JJ, the gerbil, had a terrible accident and broke her back, and when she passed away, it was my boys' first experience with loss. As we sat around the table to mourn her loss with my boys crying their eyes out, I decided to comfort them by reading the Rainbow Bridge poem. I told them that they would come upon the Rainbow Bridge on their way to heaven. Sweet little JJ would be there waiting for them along with every other pet they would have lost by then, and I could see the peace and comfort that gave them. I watched the tears dry up as they told me how much they would try and hug that little gerbil, and it struck me hard how I had never had the comfort of feeling that sort of genuine hope and peace before.
I wasn't a believer at the time. My eternity was a poof, then nothing. How sad it is going through life never once experiencing the comfort and peace that the hope for eternity grants you?
Maybe you're a parent, have suffered some loss, or have taken another similar journey. Those experiences can provide you opportunities to have wonderful conversations about God and His love for us and the hope that being saved by Jesus grants us. And you can have these conversations about faith without starting an argument, offending someone, or getting into politics.
P.S. That's a picture of JJ the gerbil and my youngest son, Samuel.