“Jesus doesn’t exist!” the man yelled as he walked by me, when I was preaching on the corner of College and Clayton. This was no surprise and is typical of things folks yell out as we preach the Gospel. However, as I was finishing up, I noticed he was standing just a few feet away from me. He pointed his finger at me and emphatically said, “Jesus does NOT exist!” I asked him how he knew. He said something that I couldn’t make out and began walking across the street. I asked him again, “How do you know?” With that he stopped looked at me and said, “Because you’re stupid!” Attempting to clarify, I repeated his comment, “So Jesus does not exist because I’m stupid?” With that he called me a fat $%@! and continued across the street, almost walking right in front of a taxi, driving down the street. Not sure I was the one exercising stupidity, but I digress. As he spewed out nasty comments I begged him to repent and trust Christ. I pray that God works on his heart and brings him to repentance and faith!
Before the all-knowing man, that was assured Jesus didn’t exist, made his appearance, something kind of out of the ordinary happened. As I was preaching, I noticed a couple over speaking with Bobby. This wasn’t your average College and Clayton college couple. They were older adults and all of a sudden the woman began walking toward me which usually means I am about to get educated on why what I am doing is wrong, etc. I was naturally a little standoffish and didn’t see Bobby trying to signal me that she was a friendly, for lack of a better word. The lady walked up to me and hugged me! Not just a casual little hug, but the kind your Mom or Grandmother gives you when she hasn’t seen you in a while. While she had me in this bear hug, she began to tell me to keep doing what I was doing and thanked me for being there. Unless you are involved in street evangelism, this may not seem like that big of a deal but it is!
You see, the two events above are at the opposite ends of the spectrum of what you see on the streets of America. The constant onslaught of what I call God-haters, similar to the first person I told you about will wear on you and even tend to make you bitter, if you allow it. The lady who hugged me was a great encouragement to me and the other street evangelists, but there is another aspect to her encouragement, I have not yet mentioned, that might be the most important.
Often we will have people claiming to be Christians come up and tell us we are doing it all wrong and driving people away, etc. This might be the most discouraging type of encounter of all. In fact, when we first began preaching a lady at the crosswalk told us just that, that we were doing it all wrong. When asked why she said, “I’m not going to get started.” You see, we expect a lost person to spew hatred at the preaching of the Gospel, but to have Christians rebuke the preaching of the Gospel is very disturbing and frankly sad. That is why the lady who hugged me and encouraged me to preach on is so amazing! Thank you Father for sending your Saint to encourage this street preacher!
Here is a sample of the message I preach, just in case you have a stereotype of street preachers in your mind, you can judge for yourself. 🙂
Until All Hear!