It all began when Andrew Taylor and some friends had a tomato fight in the neighbor’s garden. As you can imagine, the neighbor was none too happy and stopped by Andrew’s dad’s house to complain! But the Taylor’s not only worked to resolve the conflict, their son, Andrew, took a special interest in the neighbor, helping him out with yard work. As time went by, the neighbor discovered he was terminally ill, so Andrew asked if they could study The Exchange together; however, he declined with many of the usual excuses: I’m ok, my church is helping me, etc. Andrew decided to leave the Bible study with him in hopes that he might just read it.
One day Andrew’s dad, Mark Taylor, was driving out of the neighborhood when he sensed the sudden strong urge to turn around and check on his neighbor. In answer to the doorbell, the neighbor quickly opened the door and without so much as a “hello” said, “It’s not by works! We’ve got to talk!” He had read through The Exchange Bible study and was under conviction. Mark was able to lead him to Christ and then a short time later he led the neighbor’s son to Christ. Within six months, both the neighbor and his son died.
Often people feel they’ve hurt their testimony with friends or neighbors, so they think witnessing is out of the question. Mark’s story is a great reminder that as believers we should resolve conflicts and invest in people’s lives, regardless of how they treat us. This story is also a stark reminder of the urgency of responding to the Holy Spirit’s prompting. May we become more sensitive to God’s Spirit and work to have uplifting relationships with unbelievers.