*The names and specifics have been changed to protect all of us.*
I’m newly on fire for God a few years ago and called into a peculiar life of evangelism and discipleship that I didn’t even yet understand. I have my Bible in hand and I’m walking in a downtown area in blue jeans and tshirt, right amongst the crowds of people, bars, and clubs on a busy Friday night.
The story unfolds….
I walk up to a finely dressed and respectable looking gentleman, and I ask one question, “Do you know Jesus?”
Being well prepared (in his own mind) with the proper response that he elected should free him from this situation — he replies, “Yes, I do. We attend _______________. Thank you very much.” And he begins to walk away.
But with complete sincerity, I reply, “Thank goodness! I’m just now starting to find out about Him. Please, can you tell me more about him?”
To which a white look came across his face and a stupor came to his eyes that I was completely not prepared for. And he stared at me with mouth opened in silence, not knowing whether to flee or to fight, I believe. He stammered a bit, wondering what he might say to get away…
So in an effort to help him, I assured him that I didn’t expect that he know everything that I needed to understand, but that “maybe we could talk about what I have learned so far and you could help me put….”
And he simply turned his back on me and walked away.
He walked away…
Walked sway from a hungry young believer who just wanted to know more about Christ, and yes, who was going about his own evangelism in quite a peculiar and uncomfortable way. *Don’t be too hard on him quite yet, though.*
It wasn’t easy for me to put myself out there, asking in this way — revealing to self proclaimed “Christians” a clear and present opportunity to share the gospel and to draw close to the LORD together. I really was hungry for more of this Jesus, and not the dead, carefully timed and orchestrated theology, but I wanted to hear testimonies, I wanted to know if it was real – if it was any different than Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and so many lis and confusion the world sells us in pretty little holidays and getting cards.
But because it wasn’t comfortably confined within the compartmentalized walls of a Sunday morning religious ceremony, no one would even discuss the topic with me. And I was interested in the Truth on the street, what was really happening in people’s lives – not what was wrapped up in the pretty paper of church clothes and prepared words like another holiday getting card. I wanted the Truth!
I even reached out to area churches and ministers at the time that didn’t know me from Adam, and who probably thought me crazy for my questions about this upside down kingdom that Jesus seemed to be revealing in His Word.
In fact, this was true, time after time — I was avoided like a man with leprosy because I was asking uncomfortable questions — because I wasn’t remaining within the confines of the entrenched practices and customs and traditions —
But, do you know — out of everyone that I approached — the ones who actually responded and sat down with me and talked with me about God — can you guess who it might have been? Maybe a pastor? Maybe a grandpa elder in the church? No, not them.
It was two homeless men near the soup kitchen. One of which I have seen battle his way for over three years with addiction and issues that at first I don’t know if he even wanted to be free from — but who today is focused, renewed, delivered, and 90 days clean — sharing the good news online regularly with others by sharing his Bible studies live.
I say this because what would you say if I walked up to you and asked you about Jesus? Would you ramble off some story you’ve heard about Easter? Or is He close and personal to you so that you can share a testimony of what He IS DOING in your life right now? Would there be excitement or fear in that question being posed to you?
I encourage you, if you call yourself a Christian, to ask yourself – how am I living out the call to share the Good News and to make disciples? What is God doing today in you and through you? And if you find yourself pale and bloodless, not sure if you should flee or fight, don’t do either of those — fall dead at the foot of the cross, give your life over to Him, and say, “Send me, LORD, I will go” and hold on for the ride of your life!