I can’t remember his name. But he was certainly in need. A lady in our congregation was good friends with his wife. So she asked if I could visit him to support the family. I found his room in the hospital and had to cross that awkward barrier of explaining who I was and why I was there. But as soon as he heard the lady’s name from our congregation, his eyes lit up with familiarity. He was glad to talk. He and his wife had emigrated from Germany. They made a good life for themselves. They were successful by the world’s standards. They enjoyed life. But now he was terminal though he didn’t use those words.
The lady from our church shared that they didn’t believe in any God. So after he and I chatted a little more I asked if I could pray for him. He responded “yes,” without hesitation which surprised me. So I prayed for him and his wife. And after the prayer, he informed that he doesn’t believe any of that but thanked me for coming. I asked if I could visit again. He said yes. I thought I would share the Gospel with him the next time we visited since he faced death and the afterlife.
Two days later, I got a phone call at church informing me had died the night before. I was shocked and regretted not pursuing the “what’s next” question with him during our time together. I wondered if God used anything in the prayer I shared might have worked on his heart.
I continued on with my work over the next weeks. And a lady began attending our church. She sat with the lady from our church. Soon I realized this was that man’s wife. She was absolutely shattered. His death turned her world upside down. Their worldview or belief system completely excluded God. But when the reality of death intruded on their successful lives, they had no way to deal with it. Their worldview did not include anything after death. The surviving wife suddenly had to deal with this reality. I don’t know where she’s at now. I know she came on and off to the church. But I pray she found hope in the Lord.
Everyone has a world view – a lens through which they filter and think about life. Many factors influence our worldview – the people who raised us; the environment we were brought up in; the books we read; the friends we keep; the media and messages we pay attention to; the choices we make about who to listen to and who to ignore. Many have worldviews that exclude or marginalize God. It seems to work. You can sell it as a viable way to live until the storms of life come.
Where do you get your worldview? Whose counsel do you listen do? Will your worldview hold up when life’s storms come along like chronic illness; difficult medical conditions; loss of employment; relational problems and even death?