It Is No Secret, What God Can Do…
(My friend Curtis May of Office of Reconciliation and Mediation shared this story I am pleased to advertise…read and enjoy.)
Some of my friends thought I should share this story with you from a few years back. As Christians we are asked to apply evangelism by reaching out to people anywhere we go. One of the places that I frequent is Starbucks and their Coffee Shops in Beaumont, CA. I rotate from one shop to another and meet different people.
As I sit and do work on my computer through their free WiFi I will sometimes strike up a conversation with someone or they with me. Conversations can end up “all across the page” from the weather to politics to religion.
One day “Bret” (not his real name) rode up on a motorcycle, walked in and stood in line. He was wearing a black leather jacket with chains hanging down, iPod in his ear, spiked hair and a stone face! He glanced around the shop not seeing any chairs and meeting some unfriendly “don’t sit here” glances. He looked my way and I gave him a gentle smile. He slowly acknowledged it. He made his order, shook my hand, mounted his bike and rode away.
From that [first] brief encounter has come dozens of others with Bret at different Starbuck stores. And the results have been surprising. He began to sit with me and relate some reasons why he was so angry with people in general, especially church people, some family members, etc. Mostly I listened.
His pain went deep. He disclosed that he was “cutting.” This is a practice among some people who are so numbed by society and personal experiences that they feel the need to try and “get in touch with reality.” So they cut themselves. I sat at a table and prayed for him right then and there. The next time I saw him he said “Guess what? I stopped cutting!” I said, “Great!”
He came in sometime after that with a short haircut, with no spikes and a clean-cut outfit. Then he said, “My girlfriend’s cutting.” So I grabbed his hands and prayed for her. A while later he related, “My girlfriend’s stopped cutting!” I said, “Great!”
Then while on a conference trip in Delaware at 10:30 p.m. Eastern time, I got a phone call. It was Bret and he was excited! He said, “Curtis, this is Bret. I just attended a religious convention and brought a person to Christ!” He was overwhelmed with joy. So was I! I said, “Way to go, Bret!”
He is now in college working hard and even teaching some Bible classes at his church. And every time we see each other we greet each other with a hug. And then we chat about life. We have built a strong and trusting relationship in the Body of Christ. By the way, Bret is Jewish and it seems opportune to quote a wise saying from the Talmud: “Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.”
Isn’t that wonderfully encouraging? As reconcilers in a world of division we can feel like our cause is so hopeless sometimes. But it isn’t. Bret’s life changes showed just that. The best evangelism is always one on one as Jesus intimated, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
We serve a great God and a great cause. Let’s never think our lives can’t make difference.