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An Opportunity Unexpected
Sharing the Joy
“Here is my joy,” said a guy to me one day pointing at a Harley, and then to a Yamaha as well.”
I guess that was an opportunity also for me to him, yet somewhat unexpected, as out from my mouth flowed, “Jesus is my joy.”
A pleasant surprise to me it was that he did acknowledge an agreement to that short statement of my faith. A brief talk between us, and then we parted. But I left him with a tract. He took it, mentioning that he would read it and that he would share it with another.
That was one opportunity, though unexpected, that crossed my path one day to share Jesus. Unexpected? Ah, but not to God, as He knows every step I take and every opportunity He has planned for me to speak of Jesus. Conversation not flowing so quickly from my mouth, I just have always to be ready (see Luke 12:40), and attentive to the Holy Spirit’s leading for me to boldly and unashamedly (see Romans 1:16) speak the name of Jesus.
A Prompting Moment
One evening another opportunity came my way, amazingly, to my surprise. I entered a restaurant, one of those “fast food” places it was, serving chicken and biscuits.
A quiet evening it was, not too many others at the time dining in; I think I was the only one – for a little while anyway. Then another came in – an African-American woman. Soon, with her tray of her ordered meal, she seated herself at a table not too far from me.
I was enjoying my meal when suddenly I entertained a thought, solidly running through my mind. So profound it was, as almost an audible voice, as if Jesus was speaking to me, saying, “Charles, go and ask that woman if she knows me.” (That meaning, of course, if she knows Jesus.)
Finishing my meal, and on my way toward the exit and the trash disposal, I found myself headed in the direction of that woman’s table. (How would it have been if I hadn’t followed that prompting moment of the thought that ran through my head then? I probably will never know, as I found myself stopping at that woman’s table, my tray in my hand.)
“Madame,” I said.
She looked up.
“There’s something I need to ask you.” She looks at me, I then asked, “Do you know Jesus?”
“Yes,” she said.
Hmm, now where do I go from there? I thought. Our conversation was quite brief; I don’t recall everything said, but, as if in conclusion, I said, “Then we’ll meet again up there,” my finger indicating toward the heavens. Her head nodded in agreement.
It’s likely we’ll never meet again, however, in this time, as she was on a journey, headed a distance from where we were at that first meeting. Not knowing of course, but perhaps at that first meeting, she needed, for some reason, some encouragement to consider Jesus afresh. I guess I was in the way and ready at God’s promptings for that opportunity.
Prompted at the Pump
Unexpecting again, yet another opportunity did come when I pulled up to a gas pump one day. In the process of filling up my tank, I had noticed another vehicle pulling up to a pump parallel to my car.
A woman got out of that vehicle and to my surprise came over to me. A paper in her hand, she asked me if she could give me something to read. She emphasized that the article she desired to give me had references to Bible verses I could consider. My mind wondered what it could be. Unable to then check out that paper, she offered me, and I worked at filling my tank, I nevertheless took what she had offered me from her. I then asked her if I could give her something to read; she acknowledged with an “Okay.”
I reached into my shirt pocket and pulled out a business-size card I had created, declaring, “Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life." It went on, “Trusting in Him is found life’s reality. The old life has gone a new begun, our task on earth then is ‘to know Christ and to make Him known.’”
She took that card, seemingly surprised that I had something to give her as well. Wishing me a good day, she returned to her car. (As I observed there was another person with her in that car.) She then drove off, apparently having accomplished her purpose for pulling up to the gas pump, which as I had concluded was not to get gas. And that was that of my witness experience then, as brief as it was, perhaps less than a minute.
Finishing my time at the gas pump, I got back into my car. Briefly, I examined that paper the woman had given me, which was titled, “What is the key to happy family life?” The article did contain Scripture references, as she had said. The names God was there as well, including Jehovah, were mentioned, but not the name Jesus, as my witness card stated. And so I prayed for her, and thanked God for this, another opportunity unexpected so prompted at the pump.
“…You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect,” Luke 12:40. The Life Application Study Bible notes, "...God is delaying [Christ's] return so more people will have the opportunity to follow him (see 2 Peter 3:9). Before Christ's return, we have time to live out our beliefs and to reflect Jesus' love as we relate to others."
© 2017 Charles Newcombe