There are conversion stories and then there is Saul/Paul's conversion story!
Paul's conversion is profound, but Ananias' conversion is also significant. In a vision, the Lord told Ananias specifically where to go and what to do. The Lord told him the street address and homeowner's name. Ananias was like I often am, afraid to GO. He had heard horror stories about Paul. But the Lord said, "GO," and Ananias went. Ananias was converted from fearful to faithful. I wish that the Lord would give me specific directions about which street to go to and who to talk to today. Sometimes I'm afraid to go outside my comfort zone and talk to people I don't know. I'm afraid of what they might say or do. But God says, "GO." God converts my fear to faithfulness. God is a sending God. God sends us out, like Ananias to proclaim good news that the blind will see. God sends us out to go and make disciples and baptize, in the name of the Triune God, amen.
Holy God, you call, gather, and send your people out into the neighborhood. Convert our fear to faith and show us the way to be your witnesses in the world. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Acts 9:1-20 (NRSV)
1 Meanwhile Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest
2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
3 Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.
4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"
5 He asked, "Who are you, Lord?" The reply came, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.
6 "But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do."
7 The men who were traveling with him stood speechless because they heard the voice but saw no one.
8 Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus.
9 For three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.
10 Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, "Ananias." He answered, "Here I am, Lord."
11 The Lord said to him, "Get up and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul. At this moment he is praying,
12 and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight."
13 But Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints in Jerusalem;
14 and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who invoke your name."
15 But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring my name before Gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel;
16 I myself will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name."
17 So Ananias went and entered the house. He laid his hands on Saul and said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit."
18 And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and his sight was restored. Then he got up and was baptized,
19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength. For several days he was with the disciples in Damascus,
20 and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, "He is the Son of God."