Saturday, February 25, 2012

Cross Encounter: A Moment of Grace (Archives)

The following story was written on May 12, 2010, on a different blog.

Like every follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, my family and I have faced many trials during the last six months--some as difficult as we have ever faced. Just this afternoon, Mahria suggested I start to journal those moments in time--moments of grace--when the Lord, who is always faithful, allows us to see His faithfulness in the midst of our trials. Philippians 4:8 is the verse that is my motivation for the journal.

I started the journal shortly before dinner. After dinner, I decided to take out my cross to the street corner where I started this aspect of my evangelism. If you are new to this blog you can read Part 1 and Part 2 of how the cross became a part of my ministry.

It has been months since I've been on the corner of Avenida Entrana and Lyons Avenue with the cross. It was blessing to be on that first street corner again. And I was further blessed to have Michelle along with me.

We stood on the corner for about an hour, enjoying some wonderful daddy/daughter fellowship. I was afforded the opportunity to hand out a few tracts and to wave at those who either yelled in anger or waved and honked in affirmation.

It was getting dark and we were about to head home when I saw a young man on a motocross bike across the street. The light changed and he rode toward us. He was wearing a dark plaid shirt, dark rimmed glasses and what appeared to be a brand new Yankees baseball cap.

"Every Yankees fan gets a million dollars tonight!" I said as I handed him a tract.

"So how have you been?" he asked. "Do you remember me?"

"What's your name?"


"Oh, hi, Walter."

"You were here with your cross last August when two of my friends and I came up to you. You talked to me for an hour."

"I remember! So, how are you doing?"

"Much better. You see, not long after you talked to me, Jesus Christ found me and saved me."

"Really? How did that happen?"

"When you talked to me last August, I was in a pretty bad place. I was running around with the wrong so-called friends. I was always angry, always in a bad mood. My family was evicted from our house. I got kicked out of every school in the district, and I eventually dropped out.

"I thought about our conversation. You gave me a Bible. And one day not long after we talked, I walked into the church down on 15th Street and Walnut."

"The Baptist church?" I asked.

"Yeh, and there's a Spanish congregation there, too."

Walter continued.

"I realized that I needed Christ. And He changed my life. People told me before that I needed therapy, that I needed a psychologist. Not anymore. All I need is Christ."

"So, are you telling me that you have repented of your sin and have put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone for your salvation?"

"Yes. He saved me. He did it in His timing."

"Praise God!" I said.

"And whenever I share my story with people, I start by telling them about the day I talked to the man on the corner with the cross."

"Walter, it's been months since I've been on this corner."

"I know. I come by here a lot and I always say to myself, 'I wonder what happened to the guy with the cross.'"

"Walter, you have made my day."

Walter extended his hand. Instead of taking his hand, I put my arms around him. "Walter, I thank God that I can now call you brother."

We talked for about thirty minutes. Walter shared that he was able to get back in school and graduated in December. He now has a job at a local bike shop. He was on his way to a home Bible study when he saw us on the corner.

Walter's new passion in life is sharing his faith in Christ with other young people in the neighborhood--people with whom he used to roam the streets. Today he walks those same streets looking for people with whom he can share the gospel.

It was time to say goodbye and Walter made his way across the street. Michelle and I marveled and rejoiced in what we just saw the Lord do. We praised Him and thanked Him all the way home.

It was a moment of grace.

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