It happened again yesterday, another divine appointment.
This time, I was just getting ready to drive away from McDonald’s when I looked ahead and saw a forlorn, middle-aged woman standing at the corner of the fast food building. She was greying with stringy hair and had a backpack strapped to her back. Her skinny arms were crossed in front of her, and she was bent over slightly. He clothes were grey and wrinkled. I’ve seen that look many times before. She was hungry and without a friend in the world.
I shut off my car and went toward her asking, “Have you had lunch?”
“No, and I’m starving to death” She replied.
“Come on inside; I’m going to buy you lunch.”
She followed my lead; and as we waited to be served, she said, “Thank you very much…my name is Tracy.”
“My name is Jim” I replied.
“Can I get what I want?”
“Anything you want” I said.
The poor, toothless woman ordered with the slight smile of relief on her face. I paid, and she got her order and made her way to a table, as I did so.
I was just about to leave when the Holy Spirit prompted me to pray for her, so I made my way to her table.
“Tracy, I’d like to pray for you” I said.
Tracy looked up as if to say, really? Then she gave me her soiled and feeble hand. My prayer was short and sweet. “Heavenly Father, please be with Tracy today and help her find herself where she should be…In Jesus name I pray…Amen.”
When I opened my eyes, Tracy was beginning to cry. I left.
Later, I wondered when the last time was that someone prayed for her or even held her hand.
As I write this, I can’t help tearing up myself. I’m convinced that she, in her hunger, had reached out to God – as we all do in times of distress; and since I was in the vicinity, He sent me to rescue her.
As Jesus said, “Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, soul and strength; and thy neighbor as thyself.”
Two days later, as I stopped by my auto’s dealership to upgrade my vehicle, a young lady was assigned to me to help me decide which car to go with. I’m not a pushover, and I told her so in a lighthearted way. She was amiable enough and very helpful. By the time we went for a road test, we were communicating freely and openly. On the short ride, I told her I didn’t trust most male salespersons – knowing that men can be slick and conniving. (I know how men think; I’m one.) Without hesitation, she agreed and said she didn’t like men at all and that she preferred being with women.
A bulb went off in my head when she said that, and I asked if she dated other women. She said yes. A bitter taste was forming in my craw, but the Lord impressed on me that he loved her – but that He also wanted her to know the Way, the Truth and the Life – Christ Jesus.
With that in mind, I said nothing about the sinfulness of her acts or what the Bible says about such behavior – although I was almost tempted to do so.
When we got back to the dealership, we went through the usual ritual of back and forth with her manager, which took time. I began telling her about my conversion and how by a series of supernatural events I ended up being a professional actor, working and hobnobbing with the stars. I also told her of some of the many miracles that I had experienced after receiving Christ into my life. Two hours had passed as she listened with rapt attention. The moral of this little story is that I didn’t have to rebuke her and instead got her attention with my testimony without preaching.
I believe God will use the testimony to convict her to learn more and perhaps even repent. I’ve learned over time that each encounter can be approached in a different way, depending on the circumstances and the personality traits of the person you reach out to.
After I left, I thanked God for the opportunity to once again share Christ with yet another who has obviously never heard the gospel.
Speaking of homosexuals, I’ve had other encounters with them as well.
I was a new believer on fire for the Lord. Homosexuality was an aberration then. Unlike today, this sexual anomaly was kept in the closet.
The homosexual man who was in his forties came to me, knowing I was a new “born-again” Christian who made sure everyone in my circle of friends and acquaintances new it.
Everyone in town knew of the dramatic conversion that took place in my life, and I made no bones about it. It was as if scales had fallen from my eyes, and I could now see the error of my ways after repenting of my sins. Apparently, the homosexual man had heard about my conversion, and in desperation he set out to find me. Until then, I barely knew him, and he always kept to himself. He was only a distant acquaintance that I knew through my more adventurous friends, Lee and Tom. He came to me surreptitiously; it was evening in Lansing, Michigan where I grew up.
He found me in a small apartment I had rented and quickly entered when I answered the knock on my door; but first he looked around to make sure no one was watching him come to the other aberration in town.
Coming toward me, he immediately began to cry. Not knowing what he was going to do, I was frozen with anticipation. I had never been approached by a homosexual before. Wrapping his arms around me and pressing his head to my breast, he began sobbing. I was astonished more than repulsed. Sobbing, he pleaded, “Pray for me…Please pray for me; I can’t help myself!” I did so.
This was only one of the first of many such encounters that were to happen to me for the rest of my life. Desperate people in search of love and deliverance.
But even after twenty-five years of such encounters, I never tire of them and am glad to be an emissary for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I could tell you story after story about my many and varied encounters on the mean streets of life over twenty-five years, and I recount some of them in my now 260-page book. (I’m still looking for a legitimate publisher.)
You needn’t fear reaching out to others with concern and love they’re searching for. “If we fear God, we have nothing else to fear.”
“Fear of man is a dangerous trap” that would hinder us from pleasing the Lord.
I couldn’t finish “Secret Empires” by Peter Schweizer; the amount of corruption that exists in Washington overwhelmed me.
To receive good Bible-based sermons on the internet, tune into FBCN livestreaming and listen to my favorite pastor D. Hayes Wicker on Sunday morning at 9:30 EST. (Write and let him know if you enjoyed it.) With churches becoming ever worldlier and apostate, we must closely compare the sermons we hear with scripture.