Susan was a former hippy who had spent her life in the San Francisco Bay area. Today when I met her, she was traveling around the country, even though she wore no shoes because her feet were severely burned; except for the toes, her feet were encased in bandages. The fronts of her feet were red with still-peeling skin. A few months ago, she had stepped onto some hot coals just below the surface of the sand on the beach where she was living. Someone had built a small fire and had just thrown some sand on it to extinguish the early morning fire, and had walked away from it.
I had stopped at the fast food restaurant to grab a bite, and there she sat near the front door. Her small, rolling suitcase was next to her, and her head was drooping with her straight, shoulder-length white hair hanging over her eyes.
Sensing something was wrong with her, I stopped and asked “are you alright? “No, I’m not,” she replied angrily. “I’ve been sitting here for two hours and no one will help me,” she scolded. Susan’s disheveled appearance was matched by her morbid and sour outlook on life, and who could blame her. Mankind had let her down.
As I proceeded to question her, it seems she was “lost,” having over-shot her destination which was Ft. Meyers, but ending up in North Naples.
With nothing better to do, I offered to drive her there. Anyway, it is my inclination to aid a person in distress.
As I drove, we conversed. I was able to share my faith with her as she listened quietly, saying nothing. Once we reached Ft. Meyers, I offered to buy her lunch, and she readily accepted. As we ate, she shared something about her life as a liberal. She had worked for Barbra Boxer and Nancy Pelosi; and although I take great issue with liberals, Susan was a human being first – a lost one – and I bit my tongue, refusing to talk politics.
After our meal, she asked, “You gave me a ride and bought me a meal – what makes you so kind to a total stranger?” I replied: Jesus said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” She demurred, and to this she answered, “The world would be a nicer place if everyone followed the Ten Commandments.”
The day before, I had seen a wheelchair-bound woman in her fifties. Having been stricken with Cerebral Palsy, she had been in a wheelchair since childhood and had begun working at a young age to help support her widowed mother. She was a Christmas bell ringer for the Salvation Army this season. As I stopped to make a small donation, I couldn’t help but notice the smile on her face. She was clean and neat, and her hair was combed nicely. Without a wrinkle, she had the appearance of a twenty-five-year-old. I asked if she was a Christian, and she answered in the affirmative.
The difference in these two women is that one had Jesus and the other didn’t.
Again, I was at a fast food restaurant sitting against the back wall of the dining area. As usual, I thanked God openly; and when I raised my head, I saw a woman a few feet away, facing me with a big smile of approval on her face at my thankfulness. Just then I realized that I had forgotten to get some napkins, and the dispenser was at the far end of the store. I had to pass my admirer on the way to retrieve some. The middle-aged woman stopped me as I approached to go by her table. “Sir, were you just now giving thanks for your food?” she asked. I replied that I had. “You seldom see that anymore,” she offered.
I responded, “I’m a Christian and should show thankfulness anywhere and at any time.”
“I’m a Christian too,” she offered, and it does me good to see someone unafraid to express their faith in public.”
Then she added, “When I woke up this morning, I asked God to show me a sign that there were still Christians who truly believed…. YOU, sir, are that sign. I was beginning to despair that I was the only one left who believed in God.”
By now I was realizing that just by showing gratitude to my maker I was at the same time blessing someone else.
I gave her my two-sided card and told her about Rapture Ready and Drop Zone Delta. At this, she became more intrigued. Upon standing on her feet, she gave me a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. God had answered her prayer.
With evangelicals going off to save people in other countries, our own country and states and cities are a mission field – brimming with people without hope and in despair.
Insofar as books and movies are concerned:
There hasn’t been a good one of either in recent weeks that I’m aware of. I did however view The Diary of Anne Frank with Ben Kingsley portraying her father. It of course tells of the young Jewish girl who wrote of her experiences and thoughts in her diary at the time of the Nazi occupation. The story was visually graphic in capturing the terror and cruelty of deranged humanity wreaking havoc on the Jewish people. The writing was excellent, the lighting was right on, the music was good, and the editing was good as well. This thought-provoking, true-to-life movie will, I suppose, become a classic. It can be gotten at the public library.
I just finished reading When God Happens, a Christian book written by Angela Hunt and Bill Myers. It is a compilation of stories told of people who have experienced a supernatural miracle in their lives. It’s surprising to me how few Christians (except for those seeking recognition) have allegedly had like experiences.
P.S. Tune in to fbcn.org live streaming on the internet for Bible-based sermons by Pastor Hayes Wicker at 9:30 EST each Sunday morning.