Friday, March 12, 2010

Frightening Friday 03/12/10

We've had a lot of rain here the past few days (about 4 days straight), which means the snow is nearly gone (just a few remnants of the very large snowbanks remain). Soon people will be out of their houses and congregating in parks and the like (probably a few weeks to go on that). Until then, I find myself at the local mall on Friday nights seeking to share the gospel with those I meet.

Tonight I walked around the mall passing out gospel tracts. Several times, I passed a well-dressed woman sitting on a bench. She appeared to be waiting there for a particular reason, perhaps waiting for someone. One time, when I passed her, I noticed she was reading the receipt from her items purchased that evening. The next time I passed her I said, "Would you like something to read while you wait?". She said, "Yes." So, I gave her one of the gospel tracts I wrote myself. It's 13 pages long (small pages, large print), and it reads like a story, so I thought it would be appropriate for the situation. I decided to make another loop around the mall and talk to her on my way back. I saw her intensely reading the gospel tract. When I got back to that spot, she was gone. I could tell she was reading the tract, so I pray she will respond to the gospel message in repentance and faith if she has not already done so.

My courage was low this evening, just enough to pass out gospel tracts, so it appeared. I handed out about 20 tracts before deciding to make my exit for the evening. I was sitting on a bench when a lady and her two children came by with a cart from a store at the other end of the mall. She was leaving. I offered to return the cart to the store for her.

On my way back from returning the cart (toward my exit door), I met Joe. I would guess Joe was in his 70's. He was sitting on a bench. Parked next to him were his walker and his oxygen tank. I handed him a million dollar bill tract and said it had the million dollar question on back (What happens to a person when they die?). Joe proceeded to tell me jokes and stories. I sat next to him on the bench and chatted. I asked him what he thought happens to a person when they die. He said, "Oh a lot of people have opinions on that" and continued telling me stories of his glory days in the navy (he rode a camel--said they growl like a lion--it was a good story). I kept trying to talk to Joe about the gospel but he wasn't having it. In Joe's stories I learned that his wife died two years ago, and they had been married 54 years. His stories eventually led to his health concerns and the many ailments he deals with on a daily basis. I tried to bring it back to the gospel one more time by saying, "You're dependent upon an oxygen tank to breathe, are you're telling me you don't think about what happens to a person when they die? Do you think there is a heaven and a hell?" He said no one really knows for sure and then told me a few more stories. During the course of our conversation, I had given Joe another tract (again the one I had written myself--bigger writing--I could see that might be necessary). Joe had very little interest in serious conversation, but he was clearly lonely, so I stayed and talked with him for awhile. As I wrapped up our time together and got ready to depart from Joe's company, I said these words, "Joe, I encourage you to read that gospel tract. I believe there is a heaven and hell, and when you die you will stand before God in judgment. This is worth your time to figure out." He said, "Yeah, yeah." and chuckled. We shook hands. I thanked him for the chat and then made my way to the exit door.

Please pray for Joe and the others who received the gospel in their hands this evening. My prayer is that they will respond to the gospel message in repentance for their sins and faith in Jesus Christ alone for their salvation.

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