February 21, 2007

The Love Channel

2007 1506 page31 capasha1 and her husband were the perfect hosts. They ran a bed-and-breakfast, and Roy and I were their guests for the week. We basked in the warmth of the climate, as well as their hospitality. Never before had we experienced a bed-and-breakfast in which we were treated to such gourmet meals—breakfast complete with fresh-off-the-tree mangoes made into a smoothie worth every calorie!
Sasha and I became fast friends. We exchanged recipes. We shopped together. We talked for what seemed like hours at a time. The topics ranged from cooking to favorite books to religion and philosophy. I shared my Christian faith, and what it meant to me. She shared her spiritual journey, although I couldn’t quite figure out in whom or in what her faith rested.
On Friday evening Sasha went out to be with some of her friends. She came in too late for us to talk with her when she returned. So when we were all eating together on Sabbath morning, Roy and I asked her how her evening had been.
“Oh, it was wonderful” was her reply.
2007 1506 page31She then looked at me with an intensity that I had not seen before. After a few moments of contemplation, she said to me, “I don’t usually tell people this, but I trust you.”
“Thank you for your trust. I’m listening,” I encouraged.
She proceeded to tell me that she and her friends had spent the evening channeling.2 She then looked at me with questioning eyes, trying to ascertain if I could handle more information than what she had already given me.
At this point, I had a very quick conversation with the Lord! What shall I do? What should I say? The answer as I understood it was to just listen.
I nodded affirmingly. Sasha continued with her story. She shared how the spirit guide spoke to her. As she told me what he had said, her excitement was evident. “Bonita, he talked about love.”
Love. That’s what everyone is looking for, isn’t it? We’re all looking for that special love that promises to fill the empty places in our souls. Love songs try to convince us that if we could only find that one right person, our souls would be filled. Advertisers and marketers tell us that if only we will acquire the right “stuff,” life will no longer be empty. Secularism tries to make us believe that if we throw away God and His repressive law, then life will be full.
Love. That’s who God is. Yet while Satan seeks to deny and discredit God’s character in this great controversy that we all are a part of, I find it interesting that He is dependent on that same character to fulfill His own purposes of drawing humankind to Himself. All Satan can do is counterfeit the original. Unfortunately, many people realize after it’s too late that it isn’t love that Satan offers, after all.
Sasha and I continued our conversations. I spoke to her about God. About His love. About His coming back again. I wasn’t able to leave her a Bible. She was, however, fascinated with Ellen White and her prophetic ministry, so I was able to leave with her the book The Desire of Ages.
I wish I could say that I convinced Sasha of the great controversy, of Satan and his tactics, of her need of a Savior. I don’t know. But what I do know is that she was looking for love—as is all of humankind. By God’s grace I served as a channel for God’s love, and was able to guide her to the true source.
1Not her real name.
2The act or practice of serving as a medium through which a spirit guide purportedly communicates with living persons.

Bonita Joyner Shields is an assistant editor of the Adventist Review.