Saturday, June 11, 2005if it weren't for the last half-hour...
Once again, it was my pastor, brother Laz and myself, out for a night of street preaching. We preached our usual 3 hours to a massive amount of people (it never ceases to amaze me just how busy the marketplace gets in the summer).
Tonight was a night of contrasts. There was some good, and there was some SERIOUS bad. Without further ado:
-I saw my friend Peter. Peter and I worked together a few years back; he and I got along fairly well, and though he is unsaved, he respects and even looks up to my faith (he thinks I'm courageous for street preaching...what a joke...LOL). What I find really cool about Peter is that he isn't ashamed of knowing me when I'm out preaching. So many of my acquaintances shy away from speaking to me when I'm street preaching (some walk right by me and pretend not to see me). But old Pete, it's "hey! Rand! how's it goin?" Anyway, it was nice seeing him again...
-A young man named Jimmy came by and asked me how he could know what God wanted from him. I told him that the best place to get that information is in the Bible. I asked him if he owned a Bible, and he said: "Nope." I then asked him if he would read the Bible if I gave him one. He said: "Yep!" So I gave him my pocket Bible. He asked me when and where our church services were and said he'd like to come. Please pray that he does!
-Brother Laz preached again tonight. This time for a whole 30 minutes! Poor lad, it's clear he's fighting the nerves, but he did real well. Wasn't too long ago, that was me, dying of fear. Continue praying for brother Laz, that the Holy Spirit would rid him of fear, and give him courage and boldness.
-I saw brother Tim tonight. Tim is a Christian acquaintance of mine; I see him every year at the Gay Pride Parade when we go out with our Gospel signs to stand against the evil. Tim will walk between my pastor and I and encourage us through prayer for the whole time we are out. It's funny, Tim, a man who suffers from schizophrenia, is the only other Christian who will stand with us when we take the Gospel to the Pride Parade.
-My respect for the other group of street evangelist took another hit tonight. One of the men approached me and asked me if I was part of the "King James Bible church". Not knowing what he meant by that, I said that I went to a church that used the KJV. He then asked me if I was part of Grace Baptist Fellowship; when I answered that I was, the man put on a somber face and said: "one thing you have to watch for in your pastor is that he has been deceived by a "spirit of hyper-calvinism." He then went on to argue that the Gospel was for "whomsoever will". I smiled and answered: "yes, but 'whomsoever wills' are those whom the Lord has chosen from before the foundation of the world." I then made it clear that I had no intention in debating Calvinism with him at this particular moment... it was evangelism time. The funny thing: if my pastor is a hyper-Calvinist, WHAT IN THE WORLD IS HE DOING STREET PREACHING???
-THE LAST HALF HOUR:
What a miserable experience, and a miserable Rand-failure. Here's EXACTLY what happened:
11:05 pm: Two men walk by while I was distributing Gospel literature. They make sure to stop, look at me, and, with their facial expression, make the biggest sign of disgust they could possibly make. (I sigh)
11:10 pm: I am told, repeatedly, by a drunk man, to "get a life" and that I was a %#%$& @$%#$, and a $&%*$#. (I sigh a bit more heavily)
11:15 pm: a car full of young men slows down and Rand is mocked; they are all chanting: "stupid! stupid! you're soooo stupid!" (Now I'm getting irritated, I have a comeback locked and loaded, but at the last possible second... I refrain)
11:20 pm: a lesbian walks by me and yells: "oh yeah, well I make out with other women, so there!" (my irritation is now full fledged aggravation). I answer: "your problem!" (I knew I shouldn't have said anything, but I was now losing it)
11:22 pm: I offer a Gospel tract to a young woman and she answers: "Pfffff, I hate the Bible!" To which I answer, again: "your problem!" (I am getting snippy now, and I know I am not doing too well)
11:24 pm: The lesbian is back. This time she comes with cursings and decides to pull up her shirt two inches away from my face. Providentially, the Lord kept me from looking on to the wicked woman, I turned my head quickly. (Again, I have a "comeback" all set and ready to go, but she walks away too quickly for me to deliver)
11:28 pm: A woman walks by me and notices my Gospel sign. She's walking a bit crooked and her eyes are messed up; she's either drunk or doped up. She attempts to "straighten me out", that I needed to "loosen up" and take a more liberal, "pleasure-filled" approach to life. She is standing inches away from me and the stench of marijuana is eminating from her breath. Annoyed out of my mind I sharply answer: "Lady, looking at you right now, I have to say, that I'll take my psycho-Gospel-sign-carrying life over your messed-up-drugged-up life any time." Knowing that that response, though accurate, was totally carnal, I walked away and took a few deep breaths and asked God to help me through the rest of our endeavour.
I can be such a prideful, angry, snippy, aggressive guy sometimes, it drives me crazy! It's especially bad when I do it during a time when I am representing God and His Gospel. The Lord forgive me and help me to gain the fruits of patience, love, kindness and a sound mind (Colossians 3:12; 2 Timothy 1:7).
I'm going to bed now... goodnight dear readers...