How have you seen the Lord work in your life? Maybe you’re a convert and the Lord has worked in dramatic ways, or maybe you’re a cradle Catholic and you have seen the Lord work in small, consistent ways to keep you on the path of faith. But no matter what your story is, it can have an important role to play in God’s plan of salvation!
Cale Clarke, host of The Cale Clarke Show, shared his story of how he was raised Catholic, became agnostic, then Evangelical, and eventually found his way back to the Catholic Church. In sharing his conversion story he also discussed how important it is that all of us recognize how the Lord has worked in our lives, and share our story with others.
“One of the things that is important about conversion stories is that we all have to realize that all of us have a very important story to tell. The story of God working in our lives,” Cale said. “And you may think, ‘Well, I don’t have a show on Relevant Radio®. Who’s gonna listen to my testimony?’ But people will listen.”
“As Pope Paul VI said, the world wants witnesses right now,” Cale pointed out. “Much more than teachers, they will listen to witnesses. People who are showing forth the handiwork of God in their lives. So your story matters. It matters to the people around you, it matters to your friends, it matters to your family, your neighbors, your co-workers. They all need God. We all do.”
One of the most well-known conversion stories is the conversion of St. Paul. But Cale pointed out something important about St. Paul’s conversion – that his story was told in the Acts of the Apostles not once, but three times!
“The first time is from Luke’s perspective,” he explained. “He talks about it from the historical perspective. That’s in Acts chapter 9, this Damascus road experience that Paul had. And then he tells it again in chapter 22. And this is really his personal testimony before his fellow Jews when he’s on trial. … It’s a slightly different take than what you get in chapter 9, the way he tells his story.”
“Then in chapter 26, Paul’s conversion story comes up again! And this time Paul has been in prison for over a year, and he’s been testifying before the Judean king Agrippa. Remember him? Paul tells a slightly different conversion story when he’s on trial before Agrippa.”
Cale pointed out that the slight differences in Paul’s testimony of his conversion doesn’t mean that he’s making it up, or fabricating some of it. It’s slightly different because he is tailoring his story for his specific audience.
“It’s something that we can kind of steal, though, when we’re communicating with our friends,” Cale suggested. “When we’re proclaiming the Gospel to our friends we’re going to want to know them and know their lives so that we know the aspects of faith that might speak to that person. Given their interests, given their background, given their particular struggles, how can we use God working in our own lives to help them?”
“Paul was a master at that. He probably told his conversion story a million times. And we’ve got to try to do that too.”