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Lady on a Greyhound

Robert is not a theologian; even so, he has a love for God's word and finds great joy in sharing what God reveal's to him through His word.

Greyhound Bus Station in Downtown Jacksonville, FL.

Greyhound Bus Station in Downtown Jacksonville, FL.

Boarding a Greyhound for Texas

Back in the spring of 1986, I had just returned from an eight month deployment from the Mediterranean Sea and was on my way to Texas to see my family. It was about mid-afternoon when I stepped onboard the Greyhound Bus in Jacksonville, Florida which would carry me on the first leg of that trip. Normally it would take about 5 hours to make the trip from Jacksonville to Atlanta, Georgia, but we all know how bus rides are; Greyhound was able to find every small town tucked away in every nook and cranny in Georgia, including, I believe, the one little town that disappeared during the War Between the States just a few years earlier. Needless to say, the drive took somewhat longer than five hours.

Having just recently been born-again, I found it very difficult to take my eyes off my Bible; I just could not get enough of it. And so, as we weaved our way through Georgia on our way to Atlanta, I took the opportunity to get in as much reading as I could, seldom stopping to look up and take note of the scenery or people around me. I did, however, at one point notice an elderly lady setting across the aisle and one row up from me who would occasionally turn her head and look back at me as if she wanted to ask me something and was just a bit shy to do so. It was pretty obvious that I was Navy and everyone I ran into on that trip seemed to want to know if I had been involved in the Gulf of Sidra incident just a few months earlier, so I just assumed she wanted to ask about that.

Van Gogh picture depicting a man reading a Bible

Van Gogh picture depicting a man reading a Bible

Meeting Miss Margaret

About two hours into the ride, this lady turned to me and asked if she could set with me and I told her I didn’t mind a bit. So she gathered her belongings and came and set next to me and introduced herself as Margaret. Miss Margaret and I talked for a bit about the Gulf of Sidra (no surprise), and then after a short silence she just came out and said, “I see you are a man of the book?” Well, that kind of caught me off-guard a little because I really did not feel I knew enough of the Bible to consider myself “a man of the book”. I told her that yes; I loved reading my Bible and learning about God, His creation, and His plan.

From Baptist to Jehovah's Witness

To make a long story short, Miss Margaret, as it turned out, was a Jehovah’s Witness. I did not know a lot about them at that time except that they usually carried with them something other disparagingly called a Green Dragon, which was their version of the Bible. I noticed, however, that Miss Margaret had among her possessions a King James Bible. She told me that she had been a Baptist as a young woman, but had converted to Jehovah’s Witness long ago. I asked her why she converted at which point I noticed tears beginning to well up in her eyes. I felt horrible and really didn’t know what to say.

Miss Margaret explained to me that when she was much younger her father had passed away and that she was positive he was not saved. She became a Jehovah’s Witness because, as she explained to me, they do not believe in Hell, and she knew that was where her father had gone. I was dumb-founded. The only thing I knew to do was take her Bible and take her to Luke 16: 19-31 and show her that Hell was very real, even in her Bible.

Rich man and Lazarus from Luke 16:19-31

Rich man and Lazarus from Luke 16:19-31

Confession

Poor lady just cried and cried; and I felt like a total jerk. She admitted though that she knew she was wrong, that the Jehovah’s Witnesses were wrong and that her father was in Hell no matter what she tried to do to make it not so. I tried to give her a little comfort by telling her that she really did not fully know her Daddy’s heart, that just maybe he had had an experience at one time or another she did not know about; after all, we have all heard it said that we will be shocked someday by who we will and will not see in Heaven, right?!?

Drawing depicting the simple Gospel of Salvation.

Drawing depicting the simple Gospel of Salvation.

Sharing the Gospel and saying Goodbye to Miss Margaret

I did take the opportunity to share the Gospel with Miss Margaret, the best I knew how at the time anyway. Shortly after that we arrived at her destination and she got off the bus; but before doing so, she took my hand in hers, and with tears in her eyes, asked me to keep her in my prayers, and then she got up and walked off the bus.

Bus stop in Georgia.

Bus stop in Georgia.

Praying to Meet Miss Margaret Again Some Glorious Day

I kept this dear sweet lady in my prayers for years, decades actually, until about eight years ago when I realized she had surely passed on; Miss Margaret was probably in her mid-70s when I met her. I hope that God was able to take my very poor abilities and limited knowledge and help Miss Margaret. Of all the people I hope to see in Heaven when I get there, she is among those at the top of the list.

Comments

Robert Henry Ditmore MA MEd (author) from MORRISON on October 20, 2020:

Thank you KC. I hope one day to see her again!

KC McGee from Where I belong on October 20, 2020:

Robert,

We sometimes cross paths with someone whom God has placed in front of us. At the right time, the right place and for they right perpose. In this case I believe you gave her hope.

God bless.

Robert Henry Ditmore MA MEd (author) from MORRISON on October 20, 2020:

Thank you Miss Helna!

Helna on October 19, 2020:

Very good article and a touching story. May God bless you. I believe it was a divine appointment. Thank you very much for sharing it.

Robert Henry Ditmore MA MEd (author) from MORRISON on October 15, 2020:

Thank you Eric!

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 15, 2020:

Very well done. Sure makes on think.

Robert Henry Ditmore MA MEd (author) from MORRISON on October 15, 2020:

Thank you Pastor Fittis!

Tom Fittis from Smithville, Tennessee on October 15, 2020:

Divine encounter no doubt! Great story!

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