I don't always see what the Lord is up to with me, which is probably a good thing, because I don't believe that I would actually do what He wants if I knew what the situation would be ahead of time.
I was trying to get to work early this morning because I was trying to make an appointment that I had not confirmed. The Lord had let it fall through, but He wasn't going to tell me about that, because it would have stopped me from taking the course that I did. Story of my life.
I would not have gone to Patmos if I had not been trying to join up with Paul and Marcia Cowley. And I would not have tried to join with them if Pastor Art had not suggested it. And I would not have been under Pastor Art if I had not been trying to do evangelism all over the state of Florida from a central location (Tampa, but Gabe Graham convinced me to move to St Pete). And I would not have wanted to do that except that the first two evangelism boot camps I attended were located in Florida. And I would not have attended the evangelism boot camps except that I had been to a Bible study in St Charles, Mo. A Bible study that I would not have attended except that a person who did not attend that Bible study attended the same church as those men who founded the Bible study and this person was a customer at the restaurant I worked at in St Charles. So, yeah. Story of my life.
So, I'm going out early, and I had kept noticing this bus passing me by about two blocks to my south when I walked up 1st Ave North, and one block when I rode on Central Ave. So I decided that, since I had left my bicycle at church and caught a ride home, I would walk just the three blocks to the south and catch that bus.
But while I was walking, I saw a woman on the 55th St who was rather oddly dressed for the weather. She was wearing very short sleeves and very short shorts, and it was felt like the upper 40s with the wind blowing. I assumed that she was a prostitute (yes, we have them here in St Pete, too), but, because I was desiring to make that appointment, I said to myself and to God, "If I see the bus while I am crossing the street, then I will just go to the bus stop; but, if I don't see the bus, I will go hand her a tract."
You guessed it: I didn't see the bus. And, you probably didn't guess this, but I wasn't seeing a woman.
Marquez told me that he liked the fresh air when I commented on the weather, saying, "Isn't it a bit cold for you to be out here like that?" I'm sorry, I don't know who on earth would believe that line. But, hey. So I gave him the Gospel tract, and he asked me about it. And then he asked if I had a phone number and if I had a girlfriend. Yes and no, respectively. Was I looking for a girlfriend? No. Why not? (he looked surprised). Because God has established that sexual relationships are to be between husband and wife. He wasn't looking for sex....
I didn't address that one either.
He was just looking for...did I live alone? No. Who did I live with? I live with a family who took me in because I'm a (basically) homeless missionary (sounds worse than it really is, because I do have a roof over my head every night and I actually have a respectable job, which isn't the case for many; I just don't have rent money just yet).
"So you came all the way over here just to give this to me?"
"Yes." Lord, what were You thinking!?! Oh, yeah, this is my job. What am I thinking?
So the conversation went on in the (Floridian) cold for about 30 minutes, me telling him to repent, and him asking some very good questions about God, people, demons, etc.
Demons? Yeah. I told him that the grandmother whose grave he watches from that spot can't talk to him. A demon can pretend to be her, though, and that is why the Bible prohibits contact with the dead (because it really isn't the dead that you are talking to). He didn't even get offended when I made very clear to him that homosexual fornication is a sin, and that he needs to follow God's order for marriage (one man and one woman united for life). Just shows that people really do know the truth, even if a man does call himself Mia.
How did I get his male name? I asked him what his parents named him, and he told me. Surprised? I was, too. I think that the very fact that I cared enough to give him a card telling him how to have eternal life removed any hostility he might have had towards me. Even though I called him, "sir," the entire time.
And then I ended up getting a ride to work, because I never did see the bus and I was too cold to wait for it. (Wow, living in Florida and then the Bahamas and back again really makes one a pansy when it comes to the cold.) So much for predictablity. Hello, adventure.
Thanks for your prayers. Now you really know why!