As an atheist since college, Nicole Cliffe had started out snarky and defensive about religion, but eventually came to think it was probably nice for people of faith to have faith.
“I thought them frequently charming in their sweet delusion.”
God’s Tap On The Shoulder
The idea of a benign deity who created and loved us was obviously nonsense, and all that awaited beyond the grave was joyful oblivion. She found the idea of life ending after death mildly reassuring in its finality.
Something began to change when she went through a hard time. She was worried about her child. She heard herself say “Be with me” to an empty room.
“It was embarrassing. I didn’t know why I said it, or to whom. I brushed it off, I moved on, the situation resolved itself, I didn’t think about it again.”
Then while surfing the Internet, Nicole stumbled upon a Christianity Today article—an obituary John Ortberg had written on theologian Dallas Willard. She happened to be good friends with John’s daughters and had seen the Ortbergs as sweetly deluded in their evangelical faith.
She clicked on the article.
That one article led to reading a book. Then she emailed a friend who is a Christian, and asked if they could talk about Jesus.
“She said she would be very happy to talk to me about Jesus. You probably already know this, but Christians love talking about Jesus.”
Jesus Is Who He Says He Is
“I was crying constantly while thinking about Jesus because I had begun to believe that Jesus really was who he said he was, but for some reason, that idea had honestly not occurred to me. But then it did, as though it always had been true.”
Nicole became a Christian on July 7, 2015, after a very pleasant adult life of firm atheism.
She found herself discovering a rich prayer life, a church community, and being baptized in water.
Nicole says, ironically, “Christian conversion has granted me no simplicity. It has complicated all of my relationships, changed how I feel about money and messed up my public persona.”
Easter is a time when God taps people – even atheists – on the shoulder and sends them searching for a new beginning.
Will you be prepared to talk to someone who is ready to be ask questions about faith and Jesus?
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