Monday, April 3, 2017

My foot in the door story

Yesterday, Elder Rasband shared a marvelous story of when he felt prompted to put his foot in the door while tracting on his mission. As a result, he was able to find and teach Marti, who ended up joining the church and now 136 people are members because of that ‘foot’.

His experience reminded me of something similar that happened on my mission. We were tracting and at one of the doors, a woman answered the door. My companion gave our door introduction and said that we had a message about God that we wanted to share with her. Before she could finish, a man, whom I assume was this woman’s husband, came up to the door. He was well over six feet tall, burly, beer-gutted, and bald. He had on a dirty white tank top. He scoffed and derision soaked his loud, angry words as they echoed in the concrete hallway of the building.
“God? God! There is no such thing as God and nothing you can say or do can make me feel otherwise. Go take your lies somewhere else.” He started to slam the door in our face.

And it stopped.

On my foot.

Like Elder Rasband, I had not done this before on my mission, nor did I do it after that, but before I could reason with myself, my foot had stuck out and stopped the door from shutting. The big man looked down, saw my shoe and paused, irritated.

“Sir,” I answered with a strength that could only come from the Spirit, “I know that God exists. I know that He is real and nothing you can say or do can make me feel otherwise.”


In that moment, I am not sure what I thought would happen. Would he be angry that my foot was impeding his ability to get on with his life? Would he open the door and want to hear more, having been touched by my testimony? Would 136 people join the church as a result of my foot?

He just stood there for a few brief seconds while the spirit dissipated the derision that had hung so heavily in the halls just moments before.

“Well, good for you,” he said, his voice down to a more decent conversational level. “But I’m still not interested.”

I removed my stubborn foot, nodded curtly, and the door closed between us. As far as I know, he never listened to the missionaries or joined the church. Not one, two, or anywhere close to 136 people joined the church because of what I had done.

But I was changed. I knew God knew what I had done. I knew with a power that does not stem from this earth that God lives. Again - the results were not something that might be shared as a ‘faith-promoting’ story over any pulpit - yet my faith was promoted. My faith in God was strengthened.

Now, no disrespect to Elder Rasband and Marti. I wish my beer-gutted man had asked us to come in and that his whole family had joined the church. But that was not how it happened, and there is a lesson in that. May we not be focused so much on the physical and temporal results of our obedience and faith and hold those ‘results’ as the standard to which we determine if our actions and obedience were acceptable or not. May we recognize that the blessings we receive for heeding a prompting are still real and tangible and faith-promoting. Then, perhaps, we can share these differing types of faith-promoting stories where the focus is on the faith, the obedience and the diligence, regardless of the results.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails