I OCCASIONALLY STROLL DOWN TO the local Farmer’s Market in my little seaside beach town–it’s a good one… organic fruits/veggies, good eats, etc.–so, lots of people go.
Anyway, I went down with my toddler on this gorgeous sunny day (kinda rare here). Today, the first sight I saw was a lady in her 60’s ringing a bell every minute or so, yelling something and holding some flyers. I couldn’t make out what she was saying, but it sure looked like street preaching. Except she had a pretty thick accent and her voice didn’t carry too well. I stayed kinda close, trying to make out what she was saying… was she promoting some New Age enlightenment? Save the whales? What??
I concluded that she was, indeed, preaching the Gospel. As best as she could, she was trying to call people to repentance. I have to admit I was pretty awestruck. This lady was not a “good public speaker.” By all visible means, she was not an “effective evangelizer.” But she was OUT THERE, speaking the TRUTH. Wow! Praise God!
Shortly thereafter, I noticed there was a couple in their 40s, sitting on a bench to the side. The lady was obviously filming the lady on her camera phone. At first, I thought they were friends of hers, recording the testimony. But, soon, I realized they were trying to shame her into stopping. I heard the lady yell a couple times, “Shut up!” I could see her smirking. What should I do??? Should I go up to the lady to give her support? Should I just walk away and let it be?? At first, I decided to cross to the other side of the street and stand as to block the camera. I heard the filming lady tell the gentleman, “I just want her to shut up.” So, I walked by them, stopped, and said to them, “It’s not nice to mock people.” I was expecting for them to tell me it was none of my business or something, but they just looked at me apparently embarrassed. I continued walking down the market, thinking about this preaching lady. What a gift of boldness she had! Could I ever have that gift?
As I thought about street preaching (of which I haven’t witnessed much), I thought about all excuses for my lack of boldness in speaking up for the truth of Christ like that… I don’t feel prepared because I don’t have enough Bible references memorized…. I would feel awkward… I might not know what to say…. I might not be effective.
But, then, I remembered. WE don’t convert people. God does. We plant a seed. God makes it grow.
Maybe we’re not all called to street preach… I’m not sure how that’s determined… but we are all called to share the Gospel of Jesus with the world. Somebody did that for me when I was lost. I want to return the favor by the grace of God. And if someone is going to think I’m crazy, I pray that it’s because of Christ. Amen.