So much happened this weekend, I don't have time to recount it all.
Baseball tryouts were not a physical success. I tried too hard to run too fast, instead of just running, and it cost me, as my time was worse than ever. I was told by an onlooking coach that my launch is great, but I'm not breathing while I am running and it is causing my entire body to tighten up and slow down. Which would probably explain the pain in my right calf.
I quickly learned that I don't have the requisite fielding skills of a professional infielder: I dropped four out of five groundballs, and none of the throws I made came anywhere close to the first baseman, even though there was a degree of force behind them. I was not setting my feet properly, and I was releasing too quickly. Plus I was nervous, because I'm just not used to throwing that far.
I can coach a lot better than I can play, and I just might do that. But I haven't given up yet. I am looking into a local league to see if I can get on one of their teams.
In the meantime, I was able to witness to several people. I wore my "Jesus Freak" T-Shirt, which appears to have a taped note on the front saying, "Yes, I am a..." and another taped note saying, "Jesus Freak!" on the back, but the note isn't taped, it's screen-printed. =) Most people can't tell that from a distance, so they say, "Hey! Do you know you've got something on the back of your shirt?" or they try to scrape the tape. It's really funny.
Then I lent my bat to a young man who didn't bring one (actually lent it to three, including a young Christian named Ben), and, when he and his girlfriend were just standing around, I asked her if she had taken the Good Person Test. We had already established that she attended church and knew something about Jesus, so I was wondering about the necessity of this venture, but the Lord proved it: once we got into the real conversation, she admitted that she had put her Bible on the shelf. I asked her if she was angry with God, and she said that she was.
She was angry because her ex-husband now had custody of her three-year-old twin boys. She wanted answers, and no pastor, of the eight that she had asked, had given her a satisfactory answer, and only one answer even remotely made sense. Well, her problem was obvious: she was looking to men to answer a question for God, a solution that never works. So I told her that she needed to stop asking men and instead ask God. I don't know if she will, but please pray that she does. I don't have the answer to why her ex got the boys, but God does. She may not like His answer, but I'm sure His answer is better than mine.
On the bus on the way back, I ran into hostility as I tried to reach the man sitting behind me. He admitted breaking God's laws, but was too proud to accept Jesus as the solution. He wanted to stand before God in his own righteousness, even though the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus was freely available. Eventually, he said he didn't want to talk about it anymore. His blood is on his own head.
I went to sleep and woke up with someone sitting next to me. That man was still behind me, but he didn't interrupt our conversation, as I took the young man through the same Good Person Test, and, this time, was able to preach to him the Gospel without the same hostile hindrances as the conversation before. Not only was this young man receptive, the man sitting in front of me was mightily encouraged. Amazing how different experiences can be: same tactic, two different people, two different results.
I had to get off that bus because I needed to use the restroom, but I didn't really lose any time, because the 19 bus was not due for a while. I only know that because the stripper who was sitting on the 52 was also on the 19 when I boarded it about 20 minutes later. I know that she is a stripper because she said so. She was looking for a strip club to work in, and she was very vocal about it. I didn't preach to her directly, because she heard me preach to others. I did preach to the man sitting across from us (I sat on the same bench, but with a space between us), but he was not receptive. I tried to preach to the man who later boarded the bus after the stripper and a man who decided to walk with her to one of the many strip clubs along US 19 had left, but I think the other guy signaled to him not to take the test. Oh well.
As I left the bus, the back of my shirt became visible to the man across from me. The reaction was obvious. I just smiled.
Sunday, after church, there was a young lady standing out by the bus stop holding a sign for a furniture store across the street from Calvary Chapel's corporate worship center (it's a building, not a church). I prayed for her as I went another direction to do something else, but I ended up coming back to the bus stop and witnessing to her. Her name will not be disclosed, but she was raped when she was younger and has been angry with God ever since, saying that God would not allow that to happen if He is really a God of love. I can only say that that isn't true, because God is a God of love--in fact, God is love, according to 1 John 4:8--and He doesn't stop anyone from making bad choices until He gives their last breath.
I gently told her that it was sad that she was the victim of someone else's bad choice, but also that her continuing in sin was a great hindrance to the healing that she could experience from God if she would but ask for it. Then, to make His point, God allowed a wasp to enter the bus shelter, and I drove it away as she panicked because she is allergic to wasps. I told her that God knew that she was allergic and had put me there to chase away the wasp for her sake, so that she could know that God does indeed love her. And she need to seriously think about that.
She didn't argue.
Please pray for her, her "boyfriend" Justin, her former "lover" Haley, and her current best friend Melissa. Yes, I got all of these names from her. After giving her the Good Person Test. Because the purpose of the test is to start a conversation about God and His love. Where it goes from there, depends on the person.