Excited about the sunny spring weather we are enjoying today, I took off to a city park to walk, armed with my iPod speaking Beth Moore into my ears. As I finished up the first lap, I passed directly by a couple of teen girls sitting on the base of a light pole by the sidewalk. One wore ripped jeans, tattoos, and piercings, and the other, excess makeup and very darkly dyed hair. I told myself not to judge by appearances. I told myself that just because they look like that, doesn’t mean they don’t know Jesus. I told myself all that and more for another lap or two. All while Jesus was encouraging me to say something to them. Say something.
He reminded me that I walked right by them while listening to teaching about remembering what God has done for me. That I write a blog, for goodness’ sake, about Him. That I profess to believe that He can change lives. Forever. Like He did mine.
On my last lap, as I came back around toward where they had been sitting, I noticed them walking in my direction. I felt it was now or never. I knew that if I didn’t say something to them, I would be disappointed with myself for the rest of my day…year…life. As we passed each other, I stopped and asked them in as sweet and non-condemning voice as I could muster, “Can I just tell you girls something?” They turned back to me with puzzled expressions. I blurted out, “Jesus loves you. I was just supposed to tell you that.”
Then they immediately fell to the ground and begged to know the way of salvation.
They burst into tears and profusely thanked me for sharing the love of Jesus.
They just turned their little confused faces back around and kept walking. And so did I.
I don’t know what they did after they walked away, but I know what I did. Only minutely proud of myself, I also thought what a lame witness I am. And just what is my problem with approaching strangers about the gospel? And what do I think I’m doing writing about it if I can’t talk about it? Obviously, it’s fear. God chose that time to remind me of the t-shirt I wore with “Fearless” emblazoned on the front. So not only am I a pathetic witness, I’m also guilty of false advertising.
Apparently, the Lord and I have some more work to do in this area (you think?), but I pray that my words to those girls are remembered and multiplied in spite of not-so-fearless me.
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1 (NIV)
Janice Powell 2013