“I have something I’d like to discuss with you.”
Given my history with that kind of meeting request, I’m embarrassed to admit that my first instinct was to brace for bad news. And given the fact that it came from my father-in-law, of all people, made me think I must really be in trouble.
What in the world could he possibly want? What was so serious? I started collecting a mental inventory of possibilities. And in my head, started apologizing before I ever knew what the “something” was.
Turns out, apologies weren’t on the agenda.
Harlan Willis is one of the most tenderhearted, godliest men I know. He has followed Christ since the age of 10, and committed himself to the Lord to become a medical missionary at the age of 15. Both were profound experiences, and as a result, he invested a huge portion of his life to serving Christ and advancing the gospel in Thailand – and now for years in West Texas, where, at age 82 he is still practicing medicine and sharing Jesus.
But for years something has nagged him. Bothered him since his teenage years. That something has been the impression that he should be baptized. Again.
And that’s what he wanted to talk to me about. And he wanted me to do it.
Didn’t make sense.
For years he wondered if it was just the devil.
That didn’t make sense, either
But he couldn’t do it in Thailand! What would the people there think? What would the other missionaries think?
He couldn’t do it back in Texas. What would the people in the church think?
This wasn’t a case of getting his baptism out of order, as often happens when people are baptized who really don’t understand what it is they are responding to in the gospel.
He knew. Age 10. And baptism came later.
But yet… here was this feeling. This call. [click to continue…]