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Her Voice Gives Her Away  

Her voice gives her away. 
When Frieda calls, you can tell that she is mentally challenged.  Words are sometimes garbled.  Or mangled.  Pauses between phrases or sentences are often so unnaturally long, they create confusion—and plenty of unintended humor.
But Frieda is friendly and faithful—more than most.  She is also in charge of the Christian worship service at a local senior center.  Without fail, she calls once a quarter inviting me to speak.
As she welcomed everyone to this week’s service, she said, “I’d like to give credit to everyone who helped.” She then listed a bunch of names, including the guy that pushed the buttons on the CD player with the piano music.  I chuckled to myself when she read her own name out loud (first and last), then paused.  And paused again.  And finally added, “That’s me.”   
I have no interest in being a polite little minister who says polite little things to a polite little group of seniors.  Instead, I operate under the brash conviction that many of these folks have been inoculated with just enough religion so that they have little interest in the saving gospel.  Worse, they likely have very few opportunities left to be confronted with the true claims of Jesus.
Thus, I chose for my devotional title, “Two Kinds of People.”  By that I mean that every human being is headed for one of two eternal destinies: heaven or hell. I tried to build a strong, biblical case, to make sure every person in the room had received the forgiveness of Jesus Christ.  At the end, I suggested that if anyone had not yet  received Christ, I would pray a simple prayer so they could pray silently with me.
“Dear Jesus,” I prayed.  “I’m coming to you now to ask your forgiveness for my sins.”  As I paused, Frieda blurted out loudly, “I have!”  I continued, “Jesus, I want to invite you to be in charge of my life, my savior.”   Frieda interjected again--loudly, “I already have!”  My prayer continued with, “I believe you died on the cross for me.”   She affirmed nearly every sentence with the zest of a six-year-old.  
There are people with gifted tongues and gifted minds and more talent and treasure than they know what to do with.  Frieda is not among them. With her thick tongue, slow speech and delayed responses, Frieda is an unlikely shepherd over an unlikely flock. Yet I’m convinced she knows the Good Shepherd Himself. That’s more than most can say. 
Frieda is not shy about any of this.  Just ask her.  Her voice gives her away. 
 

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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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