Roger and I sat in my car, both of us moved as we reflected on what God was doing in the life of this new Christian.
Roger then asked me a question. “Can you be a Christian without the fruit of the Spirit?”
I asked him to explain what he meant.
He said, “In your lectures you keep talking about streams of living water flowing through the believer, and it seems that this has to do with the fruit of the Spirit. Well, if that’s right, I’m wondering about myself. I don’t really see evidence of ‘love, joy, and peace’ in my life. What do you think? Is it possible that I may not be a Christian?”
I said cautiously, “Well, if a person really does not have any of the fruit of the Spirit in his life, that person would not be a Christian.”
We talked more about the nature of the “fruit of the Spirit.”
Roger finally concluded, “I don’t see ‘streams of living water’ coming from me.”
The next morning Roger found me and continued his questioning while we waited in line for coffee.
He remarked that if he compared himself to Moses and Jonah in the Bible, he knew he resembled Jonah.
He said, “Moses was willing to die for the people, but Jonah ran away. I just don’t love people. Even my witnessing has not been witnessing, but beating people over the head with the Bible.”
We sat down in the lounge with our coffee, and suddenly Roger said, “I feel like someone is picking at a thick crust. I am the thick crust, and it’s God who’s doing the picking. I’m going to . . . pray.”
Now our seminary is not an austere place, but like most schools, the faculty and students often have a conventional reserve. I know I have mine.
I was completely unprepared for what happened next.
Roger fell to his knees and, in the presence of all of us coffee drinkers, he began to pray. Tears were running down his face.
After a time he stood up and said, “I think I just got converted.” The tears were still flowing.
Streams of living water? I was speechless.
In my whole life I never had a conversation even remotely resembling this one.
C. John (Jack) Miller, A Faith Worth Sharing: A Lifetime Of Conversations About Christ, Location 918, Kindle Edition.