I’d rather die a thousand deaths than walk up to a stranger and share the gospel.
It feels so much safer to share God’s love with people who come to my church. I also feel safe behind my computer screen sharing His Word through blog posts, tweets, and Facebook blurbs.
Last spring God opened my eyes one afternoon at a Greyhound Bus Station.
It was my husband’s fault. Jose spent nine months as a visiting professor at Dallas Theological Seminary. Someone had the brilliant idea to put into practice what students were learning by going out to share Christ with people downtown. Of course professors and their spouses were supposed to lead the students, right?
So that’s how I ended up at the bus station. I felt scared and out of place. A woman with tattoos all over her body looked at her cell phone. A guy with dreadlocks and ripped pants ate his lunch sitting on an orange duffle bag. I wondered, “Who could mousy, middle-class me walk up and talk to?”
As it turned out, I didn’t have to walk up to anyone. I prayed, and a woman walked up to me. All I did was say hello and tell her I’d come to the bus terminal to pray for people.
Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?
Not one person we met that afternoon refused prayer.
Joanie wanted prayer for her brother. He lives on the streets, and she hadn’t heard from him in months. After I prayed for her, I helped her find where to go since she couldn’t read her bus ticket.
Marina wanted prayer for her new job. A Buddhist from Nepal, she told me she didn’t believe in a personal Creator God, but her eyes locked into mine when I told her, “You may not believe in Him, but God thinks about you. He created you, He loves you, and He wants a relationship with you. That’s why He sent me here today.” After we prayed, she thanked me for the positive energy.
Susan needed prayer for her dysfunctional family. She’d just broken up with her boyfriend. Travelling across the country with two small suitcases, she planned to move in with her grown son. I shared the gospel and let her use my cell phone to call her son.
“It’s going to be okay,” she told him. “This lady I just met prayed for us.”
I met three women who desperately needed good news that day.
How do I get so wrapped up in my own safe, Christian life that I forget about the needs around me?
I forget my calling to represent Jesus to people living far from God.
Maybe I need to break out of my Christian bubble more often.
I don’t even have to go to the Greyhound bus station to do it. You probably don’t either.
We can find needy people right where we live and work. Our next door neighbors need to know that God really does love them. At the grocery store, someone might need a smile and an encouraging word. Maybe a co-worker has never heard his own name mentioned in prayer. Perhaps that single mom at the park would appreciate an invitation to church and lunch afterwards.
All we have to do is start by saying hello. And when we don’t quite know how to share the gospel, prayer opens hearts.
What about you? Have you seen someone lately who looked like they needed prayer and some good news?