The Almost Skipped Door
By Susannah Chiarenza
The day was bright and sunny but my inward thoughts did not reflect the weather in the slightest bit. I was in the middle of the summer canvassing program and felt especially discouraged. As I wandered from the last house, I was on the verge of skipping the next one. The owner of the house was unpacking her car with sweat pouring down her face as she ran between the house and the car. She seemed too busy to stop and talk. With this commotion going on, I turned to walk away.
Before I had gotten more than three steps further, a reminder popped into my head . . . "Skip a house, skip a blessing." My leader was sure to remind us of the motto. At that moment, I knew I had to approach the lady or I would be accountable for not doing my part.
The lady disappeared inside before I arrived at the doorstep. I knocked on the door waiting with anticipation for it to open. She emerged from inside, pointed at me, and said "You're a Seventh-Day Adventist, aren't you?"
She then proceeded to pull books out of my handset and said, "I have this book, and this one, and I don't have this one...etc." At this point, I interjected and asked her how she knew who I was. Then the story unfolded. . . ten years prior, two young men knocked at her door with the same books I was carrying. She bought two Bible storybooks for her toddler. She told me those books had helped her son find interest in the Bible even at a young age. At the time, she wasn't interested in the Bible so she didn't buy any spiritual books.
After the young men left, she regretted not purchasing any. She knew she was in a low place and needed help. Not knowing if she would have another chance, she was ecstatic when I showed up with the same books. "Where have you been? I've been waiting for you to show up at my door!" were her next words to me.
I was almost in tears thinking of the fact that I almost skipped her house. She told me she had been praying for someone to bring Jesus to her and her son who were both searching for the truth. She bought five spiritual books, including The Great Controversy and Steps to Christ. She also expressed the desire to sign up for both sets of Bible studies we offered. "I'm so glad you stopped by my door today!" she exclaimed.
As I left her doorstep that day, my heart filled with joy and satisfaction. What if I hadn't stopped to talk to her? What if I had walked on by? It's possible that it was her last chance. From that day forward, I never skipped another door. If we don't heed the Holy Spirit's direction, we are accountable for each soul we neglect to share the gospel with. We can't rely on our own judgment. I am forever grateful I stopped that day at the door I almost skipped.