Saturday, January 29, 2011enduring hardness...
I was going to begin this post by stating that it wasn't a particular smashing night of street evangelism... yeah... well...
I hadn't even finished my first half hour of Gospel preaching when I saw a young man, just a few yards away messing with one of our Bible signs. Our 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 sign often draws quite a bit of attention. At first I figured he was trying to scribble the sign with marker, so I made my way toward the man and said: "Excuse me, but that's my sign, please leave it well alone." I had just finished uttering these words when I noticed that in his hand was a very sharp knife, not a marker.
I did my best to keep him from further damaging our sign, but I was careful not to wind up on the wrong end of his blade. Suffice it to say that he totally scrapped our sign. I was annoyed, and feeling like I needed to do something, anything, I pulled out my cellphone and took a picture of the young man. I figured that perhaps now that he knew I could go to the police with his picture, he would leave us alone. Then, the man did something incredibly stupid. He walked into one of the nearby stores, walked behind the counter, put away the knife and hid in the store, which he obviously worked in.
A number of things went through my mind. I knew I couldn't let the man get away with his crime since, him working so close to where we evangelize, he would no doubt do it again and again in the future if he felt he could get away with it. At the same time, I didn't feel it was right to call 911 for such a trivial matter, and I didn't have the non-emergency police number. The Lord provide me with direction in less than 10 seconds: a police cruiser just happened to drive by me on the road.
Suffice it to say that the young man, who incidentally professed to be a homosexual, got one harsh lecture from the police officer. Information was obtained and arrangements will be made for the young man to reimburse us for the smashed up sign. The humbled fellow even offered an apology, after his verbal chastisement. I'm not holding my breath as far as the reimbursement is concerned, nor do I really care about that really. I just hope that this episode will keep him off our signs for good.
God be praised and thanked for sending us a kind and just police officer.
Irony of the night: the young homosexual's name was Samuel (Asked of God).
The following two hours of evangelism were far less eventful. I had a short one-on-one conversation with a foul-mouthed man who wanted to hear a "gospel-sales-pitch"; he wanted me to try to convince him to receive Christ. I gave him God's New Testament commandment, to repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. He said he didn't want any of that, so I replied: "Well then, I just can't help you." I told the man that I wasn't going to negotiate some other arrangement with him, or try to sweeten the deal; it was God's Way, or Destruction. He walked away mocking and blaspheming. The Lord have mercy.
We didn't hand out that many tracts during those two hours, considering that the market was fairly busy. I was a bit surprised at just how hard our audience was tonight toward the Gospel. It's rarely good, but it isn't usually that intensely bad.
My last half-hour was a real treat however. I met "me-in-my-early-20s". Okay, it wasn't "me", but someone who was going through exactly what I was going through back then. His name was Nick and he is presently attending the school I went to, studying biotechnology just like I did, and he is one depressed drunkard (as I was). It was great talking with him. I was able to relate to his problems and show him the Way I took all those years ago. I encouraged him to turn to the Bible and to give it a chance; it's done so much for me! Nick kept saying how happy he was that he got to speak with me. It was great.
The scientific community, especially in my city, is pretty small, so there is hope that I will be able to see and speak to young Nick again in the future. Let's pray to that effect.
After that wonderful conversation, Pastor Tim and I packed it in for the night. We picked up our smashed sign and made our way back home. I commented how not so long ago, we would have been far more upset than we actually were over the destruction of our Bible sign. I guess the Lord is working patience in us, nice and slow. I have to say though, the thought of that young man taking a knife to the Word of God, it's a pretty disturbing scene.
A Good Soldier of the Lord Jesus Christ
(trying to be anyway...)
Labels: Friday evangelism