Why God Sighting Stories May Deeply Impact Others

by Lon Allison

God sightings, evangelism, Lon AllisonSetting: Sunday afternoon, 3pm, Starbucks

Characters: Two neighbors meeting for coffee. The first man, me (a Christian minister); the second man, my friend (a geneticist), with whom I’ve been sharing Christ for over five years

Our friendship is strong. Both of us have lost our mothers in the last few years, which has given us heart-to-heart connection. We are also intellectually curious and love to talk about a wide range of issues. On this occasion, we spoke of my new book, which just released, and his work with a team developing a new drug to help treat Celiacs disease.

Soon our conversation turned to spiritual matters, as it often does. My friend and I have read scripture together and apologetic books by Lee Strobel and C.S. Lewis. He has been open to dialogue on matters of faith, yet is still in the investigative stage. But on this Sunday a breakthrough occurred.

How? I told him the story of a God sighting.

God sightings are events that happen in the lives of believers all the time. We think of them as events that cause us to give praise and thanks to God. Some God sightings are small in nature; other times they are “wow” moments.

But to my friend, who does not operate in the realm of supernatural graces, they are unheard of. As he listened to my God sighting story, he sat up in his chair and said, “Wait a minute.” He then reiterated the story to me to make sure he’d heard it right. I responded, “Yes, that’s exactly what occurred.”

He was at a loss for words for a few moments. He then said something like, “That’s pretty good evidence for the existence of God in your life.” I was a bit surprised at his reaction. I live in the world of the supernatural engaging in the natural world all the time. I argue that every Christian does. Sometimes, we see the God sightings, and sometimes we don’t, but they are all around us.

However, the secular mind does not see such happenings for the most part. In my friend’s case, the story was evidence of the reality of God in the world. He wasn’t skeptical about it, as we have a trusted friendship. But he was surprised. A God sighting story brings the reality of God into the conscious awareness of a secularized person. I believe it opens the eyes of the blind to the plausibility of a Christian worldview.

My friend is inching closer to Jesus. I pray for him regularly and ask other brothers and sisters to do the same. I certainly didn’t know that Sunday at Starbucks would have the impact it did. I didn’t share the story as an intentional witness method. I was just telling him what was going on in my life and since I don’t hide my God, my friend is used to my worldview. But the God sighting story opened him in ways that other methods and discussion hadn’t.

We’ve all got God sighting stories, friends. Remember and record them so that God can spread them through your words with people whom He is seeking.

Lon Allison (@lonallison) is pastor of teaching and outreach at Wheaton Bible Church in West Chicago, Illinois. Previously, he served as executive director of the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism.