Friday, March 2, 2012

Then He Opened Their Minds...

This story was written on July 24, 2009, and is reposted from another blog.

I arrived at Avenida Entrana, at about 2:30 PM. I brought an easel upon which to place the cross. I sat just behind the cross in a small lawn chair and opened my Bible. It was quiet for the next hour or so, with the occasional affirmative honk of a horn to break the silence.

"Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, 'Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem'" (Luke 24:45-47).

I looked up from my Bible to see three young men on the opposite side of Avenida Entrana. Each of them were riding razors. Before they reached the intersection at Lyons Avenue, they changed direction, hopped off the curb, and rode toward me.

"How ya doin'?" I asked them as they waited at my corner for the light to change. They all acknowledged me, each giving me an upward nod of their head.

The one who appeared to be the leader of the trio--sporting a small, black, round chapeaus--moved closer to me and asked, "What are you reading?"

His name was Tony.

"The Bible."

"What are you reading in the Bible?"

"I just finished Luke 24."


"Do you read the Bible?"

"Huh? Oh. Yes."

"When was the last time you read the Bible?"

"About a week ago."

"What did you read?"

"Umm. Well. I can't remember. A little from here and a little from there."

"So, what do you guys think is going to happen to you when you die?"

This started an hour-long conversation with Tony, Jordan, and James. It was wonderful. They listened as I reasoned with them through the Law, which prepared them to hear the Gospel. They had lots of questions--reasonable and sincere questions. Is life just a big test? Why did God create us if He knew we would do bad things? Does God hear my prayers? My brother is in the army. Can he still go to heaven if he kills somebody? If I'm tempted by someone or something, am I still responsible if I give in to the temptation? Can a murderer go to heaven? Do you think there will ever be one world government and a world currency? Do you really think Jesus is coming back?

The way they asked their questions, received the answers, and thoughtfully moved to their next question made it a joy to talk to them. All three of the young men accepted the gift of a Bible. I gave each of them a tract and my card; and I invited them to call or e-mail me if they had more questions or just wanted to chat.

They asked me where I went to church. I gave them the information for my church. I also shared with them that my sister and her family attend a small church that meets at a nearby elementary school. They seemed excited to hear that, saying that they lived across the street from the school. All three expressed interest in visiting the church.

"Well, we better get going." Tony said.

"You guys be careful crossing the street."

"We will."

"And thanks for spending so much time talking to me."

"Yeah, thank you."

I watched the three cross the street as if they were my own sons. I prayed for them, asking the Lord to save them. And I thanked the Lord for, once again, using the cross and His Word to provide yet another opportunity to proclaim the Gospel.

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