As a former atheist, I had heard the gospel preached a million times, and the bible quoted just as many. When that didn't work, in the hope they could scare the hell out of me, I was regularly informed of the countless ways in which god was going to destroy the world. Believers had "reached out", believers argued, believers used history, believers spewed prophecy, and none of it worked.

But after I was married two years, my "back slidden" wife, (once pregnant) decided to "rededicate" her life back to god---to my chagrin. I guess I should have known this was possible, considering her parents were (aghast) holy rollers. You know the type: dance around, singing Chris Tomlin songs (pathetic).

A short time afterward, we moved a few hours away from my ostensibly pious in-laws (I mockingly thanked god for this.). My wife became pregnant again (with a little help from me), this time with twins!! When the twins were just a few months old, we were cavorting about the local mall, and as fate would have it, I was pushing the double stroller while my wife shopped. I was shortly cornered by a woman from the beauty supply department and she was gushing over my girls and telling me how she had twin boys. Soon, my wife showed up and the conversation quickly turned for the worse. "What church do ya'll attend?" asked the overtly perfumed lady. To which my wife replied, "We haven't found one yet; we go to my mom's when we can, but it's over two hours away." I was not very fond of the "we's" my wife was spouting, but I grinned and bared it. Of course, the highly aromatic bible lady had a business card from her church, which she offered to my wife, and we were finally free. My wife got home and promptly called her mom to set up a time for both of them to go and check out the joint. Which naturally got the mom-in-laws seal of approval.

As I stated before, I was an all out atheist, but to keep momma happy (Read as, "to keep this boy from sleeping all alone on the couch."), I would swallow my pride and go with her and the kids to church a handful of times a year. And after my initial visits I found this church was no different than all the rest, nothing special. (Or so I thought.)

A little over a year later, I had attended the church approximately 8 -10 times, and I noticed they were preparing for their Easter production. (I had forced myself to sit through the previous years drama; "hated it".) It seems that when my wife first came to this church, she filled out a questionnaire and, on it someplace, she mentions that I was a theatrical ham and writer. Once again, I am cornered by another little bible lady asking me if I could help with their play. If that poor woman could have read my thoughts, she would have blushed, but for reasons unexplainable, I muttered, "Sure, I'll help." "WHAT!!!"-- I could not believe what just came out of my mouth!

So, I go to the first rehearsal (Hey, atheist do keep their word sometimes.), and they ask if I could be part of the riotous mob scene at Jesus' trial. "No problem". I said. A little later in the night, they asked, if I could instead be in the scene where Judas betrays Jesus. It seems they wanted me to be one of the priests. "Cool", I said. ("I get to be among those that eradicate the lawd", I laughed to myself.) The next rehearsal night comes along and I am informed that I am now the high priest ,Caiaphas! They totally reconfigured the scene and I now have a ten minute diatribe! (D' OH!!)

And to my dismay, despite never ever having any issues being the center of attention, I found myself unable to perform. It was like I could not fake it. I apologized to them and went home.

I was out in my front lawn, smoking and reading my lines, when in my script, I was to proclaim that Jesus was a fraud and was little more than a charlatan. But as I read those lines with as much vile as I could muster, something touched my stone of a heart.

I looked into the heavens and made him a deal. You get me through this and I am yours.

He did.

And as rabid as I was against Him, I am now just as rabid proclaiming Him.

You see, I was like the woman at the well. and just as Jesus peered into the heart of that lady, so to was the woman asking me to be apart of the play. She knew, by the Spirit of God, that I had a love for drama, and if she kept pushing the envelope farther, I would at some point break.

This is the key to witnessing to atheists or any non-believer for that matter. Be so full of God and His Word, get as intimate as you can with the Father, and when you are in the position to share with a non-believer, the Spirit of God will allow you to see into that person's heart. And if you have the boldness to say what God reveals, they will melt under the power of God. The woman at the well wanted to talk religion, "our father's...", but Jesus looked into her heart and revealed her innermost secrets.

the testimony of Darren DeLoach........