You see, I'm not having a whole lot of conversations lately, and that is what I normally chronicle. But I have been able to pass out a lot of tracts.
I primarily passed out tracts at Baywalk Friday night. I passed out a few on Saturday when I went grocery shopping. And I tracted every car in the parking lot on Sunday at the local park, and gave some to the guys who were practicing for their league in Clearwater, and to some customers at a local 7-11.
One of them asked me what church I went to, and I was able to give him one of the business cards that has directions on the back. Perhaps we will see him someday soon.
Another guy dropped a $5 bill as he exited the store. I had just dropped the tract inside his open car window and noticed and I called out to him and returned it. I think he knew that I was the one who put the tract in his car, because I hadn't gotten that far away, and he did thank me for retrieving his money for him. And he said, "God bless you," as he got into his car, so he definitely wasn't an atheist.
Saturday night, as I had to stop at a gas station, I tracted some people and then, as I was filling up my tank, a drunken homeless guy tried to get some money out of me. Well, I don't play that game. I told him that I would buy him a sandwich, but I wouldn't give him money or get a beer to go with his sandwich, either.
Turns out the convenience store that runs the gas station doesn't have sandwiches at all, so I tracted the stocking clerk (I had already tracted the cashier when I paid cash for my gas, which is cheaper to do at some gas stations), and told the guy the bad news. I told him that I didn't mind going over to Checker's to get him something, but he told me not to worry about it, because all he wanted was a beer.
So I asked him when he started drinking (at age 14) and why (peer pressure). I asked him what good beer did him, and he said that it made everything better. When I pointed out that his problems would still be there, he changed his story to that it relieved his pain. He complained of insect bites, and said that the alcohol would reduce the feelings of pain. I told him that I don't take any drugs of any kind for the simple reason that pain relief only pretends that nothing is wrong with my body. As long as my brain is aware that something is wrong, though, it can marshall my body's forces to do something about it.
He agreed with that. I also told him that, through the course of the conversation, that his devotion to getting a drink was so fervent that it had to be classified as idolatry--putting anything ahead of God, a violation of both the First and Second of the Ten Commandments. He understood and agreed with that, too.
I think we talked for about ten minutes or more. All this time, people were walking by, doing their business, and I wanted to leave him to tract them all, but the Lord reminded me of how much He loves each individual sinner. God Himself would marshall enough forces to show His Love to those other people: this man needed me to be obedient now.
I wish that I had gotten his name, but, if you just pray for the homeless drunk that Joshua talked to on August 2, 2008, I'm sure God would know who you are talking about. Thanks for reading.