Jill’s Story from The Difference Jesus Makes
Meeting Jesus through a friend
I left school not from choice but to earn a living. Stuck in an office job, which was one of several during eight years, and nearly 19 old, I began to search for the meaning of life. It was more a thought than action, as I had no idea which direction to take to find an answer. Over a particular three weeks the intensity of my quest became overwhelming. “There MUST be more to life than being born, probably getting married and eventually dying!” Then Deidre came to the office as an agency temporary copy typist.
Deidre had expected a clerk/typist job: the agency had made a mistake. I gave her long schedules with tabulation, which was a daunting task to the inexperienced typist. While my colleagues and I worked through an accumulating pile of invoices and insurance schedules, Deidre battled to complete her daily assignments. She was in tears at home but so convinced she had to stay in this insurance firm, never saying anything to the agency or myself.
Deidre chatted to my colleague during tea breaks. I often listened to their conversation while continuing to work. Deidre talked about the Bible, God and Jesus. It made me read the Bible I owned which had belonged to my Grandmother. I had read some of the Bible before but now I ploughed through Genesis, Exodus and onwards, occasionally breaking off to look elsewhere but as usual verses seemed to contradict each other.
One tea break I decided to tell Deidre of my dilemma. Our conversation developed, my enquiring mind sharing thoughts with this new-found friend. Also, I later learned that Deidre was informing her friends of our daily chats and they were praying for us. These friends were wondering whether the past Billy Graham campaigns and prayers for the Haringey area where they were held, and where I lived, had brought about my situation.
I later related to Deidre that I had encountered Billy Graham when about eleven years of age: he was preaching to a group of men outside the stadium in a lunch hour. Billy was standing on something to give him extra height. He was literally on his soap box. Displaying the enthusiasm this American evangelist was renowned for, he spoke loudly and boldly about …. ? I could not remember what. Persuading my Mother to walk up the lane to listen to him, we stood at the back of his audience. Billy shouted his message across, pointing and saying, “And you …. And you ….” His finger pointed in my direction and I nearly jumped out of my shoes. My Mother insisted we left but I looked back several times. Billy had not frightened me. I would have preferred to stay and listen to him.
Deidre finished her fortnight of agency work with us: she would be returning to Lancashire to commence student nurse training. She had encouraged me to do the same but this did not happen until several years later. Before she left London we met up and walked to Green Park. I accepted Christ into my life sitting on a park bench while Deidre confidently prayed. People were walking past us continually but this did not deter Deidre from her mission.
At the time I was not sure exactly what had happened but knew Jesus was the answer I was looking for. Deidre explained I did not have to read the Old Testament first. I could start in the New Testament with the life of Jesus. The significance of my conversion was confirmed when I next read the Bible. The contradictory verses no longer existed. As the Bible promises – the Scriptures were revealed to me. Like a long-lost key opening a locked door. The joy of finding the truth in Jesus Christ is the answer to life and eternal life. Jill