Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Whom do I talk to?

9:47 p.m. Today's project was to mail gift cards to my teenage grandsons in San Diego County. The central Post Office for Riverside is a few miles away, so I'd have plenty of time to return the opposite direction for errands and then meet my friend Debi for lunch.It had been a hectic morning, exercising indoors to the  "Faithful Workouts" program with my friend Michelle instead of going for a walk. I needed to be home to greet the contractor slated to tear down my termite-and dog-chewed wooden patio cover supports.

Once the contractor and his partner arrived and began their work, I placed Jada in her crate and got myself ready to leave the house. I was amazed that it was already 11:30, but that couldn't be helped. I chose to have a peace about the clock, because God "has made all everything beautiful in its time" (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

As is my daily practice, I was listening to Bible studies on K-Wave 107.9 FM. Pastor Dave Rosales of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills was on as I drove, speaking of the way the Holy Spirit has to be the One to convict a person of his sin so that they may come to Christ for salvation; and also, that the Holy Spirit guides believers in their actions, sometimes with dramatic results. Pastor Dave was telling of a church member whom the Holy Spirit compelled to turn around on his way to their men's retreat and pick up a man walking along drinking out of a brown bag-- at 9 a.m. This man convinced the drinker to get into his truck and go with him to the retreat! Not only was there an extra lunch ticket for the newcomer to use, but he proceeded to go forward and get saved. All because one man boldly obeyed God and made a stranger get into his truck! As 2 Corinthians 6:2 says,

Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

The Lord had a little test for me, too, I believe, because I was now accountable to act in faith upon what I had heard. Kind of exciting and scary at the same time!

The part of town where the Post Office is, Chicago Ave. near University, is home to an unusual cast of characters along with patrons of businesses in the strip mall across the street. Prostitutes walk home in the morning hours in their micro-miniskirts and spike heels, homeless people mosey along, young families pushing strollers jaywalk in heavy traffic. As I pulled out of the Post Office driveway, having dropped in my mail, I saw a tall, skinny elderly lady with her head wrapped in a scarf walking on the nearby sidewalk carrying what I thought was a dingily wrapped baby. On closer inspection, it was a doll she was talking to. I had to go forward, and made a U-turn, but I was on the wrong side of the street. I was praying to get a chance to speak with her when she suddenly crossed the street to where I was driving, or rather, searching my billfold and rolling down my window while moving slowly. Thankfully the traffic was light.

I rolled down the passenger side window and called, "Ma'am? Hello! How are you?" She stopped and I asked, just to make conversation, "Is that your doll?"
"What do you do with your doll?"
"Oh, I play with her."
"Where do you live?"
"Oh, I live in the shelter."
I then said, "Here, have this," and handed her a ten dollar bill.
"Oh thank you very much," she said, focused on cuddling and talking to her doll, turned the corner and walked on.I had to pull back into traffic, wishing I'd had a moment to tell her that Jesus loves her, and to ask her if she'd ever accepted Him as her Savior.

What she did, where she went, or if she even knew what denomination of bill it was, is God's business, not mine. Who knows? Maybe I'll run into her again, or better yet, maybe another believer will come to the shelter and share the Word with her soon. Someone knows her name and where she lives--God certainly does!

When it comes to street evangelism, we often won't have the privilege of finding out whether the person we shared with or took a moment to speak a pleasant word to, ever got saved.In  I Corinthians 3:6-8 the Apostle Paul says, of people who serially share the gospel with the unsaved:

I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God gives the increase.

I thought of a lesson for me as a Christian that hit me as I watched the woman walking, talking and cuddling an inanimate object that could never appreciate her loving care: who am I talking to instead of God, about my troubles, plans and tasks? I can talk to myself, who won't have any new ideas; and others who may have practical suggestions, but aren't inside my head and cannot know the depths of my heart, haven't lived the 61 years of life that made me who I am today, and certainly do not have time to learn the entire background of any situation I am involved in.Why consult the clueless?

We need to take the One who made us, knows us better than we know ourselves, loves us anyway, and has the almighty power and knowledge of all aspects of our lives, to be our glorious Confidant, and seek HIS word! Hebrews 4:12 says,

For the word of God is living and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

...and He's listening!


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