Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bearing Fruit

For almost as long as I have been doing street evangelism, the question has come from Christians who see me, "What is the fruit?" Usually, I refer them to 1 Corinthians 3, which tells us that God is the One who gives the increase, neither the sower nor the waterer are anything--and I have no idea which one I am at the time, but I know I am not God, so the issue of fruit does not particularly bother me, so long as I am faithfully presenting the truth of God's Word.

The easiest way for me to do that, of course, is to just read the Scriptures. I do that out loud in front of the Scientology headquarters in Clearwater almost every Monday. Sometimes, people get upset; other times, people mock; more ignore me; still, there are others who encourage me.

Like that man who offered me a cup of coffee last night. Or the couple that gave me $60 on the spot to give to my church (yep).

That came after a man with really awful timing insisted that I didn't need to read aloud on the street corner, because they have so many Bibles in the Scientology complex. I responded that they obviously were not reading them too well, or else they would not be involved in that garbage (yes, I said it that way). Then I read on. I realize that I was in the chapter of Amos which describes the encounter he had with a priest who tried to discourage him. The curse that God put on that priest was rather frightening, especially as I considered the living, flesh-and-blood man who had just walked in the footsteps of this priest. May he repent so that none of those things befall him.

I do thank God for the love He has given to those of us who do this for those who are perishing. Phyllis E. (who is going to hate me for embarrassing her) was not feeling well at all, but she would not stay home. I am glad she did not. Toward the end of our night, a young woman stopped as we continued a rather long and trying conversation with a self-righteous homeless man named Greg (you can pray for him--in fact, I am asking you to do so, because he is so deceived). She had passed by earlier as Phyllis was witnessing to some little boys, only one of whom spoke English (the other two, Italian; yes, he could translate). I had handed her a tract, and she had moved on.

When she came back and stopped and stood there, I beckoned her over. "Can I ask you a question? If you were to die today, where would you go?"

"To Hell," she said, trembling.

"Is that bothering you?"

She nodded as she fought back tears. I told her that I would wait for Phyllis (and Pat) to finish with Greg, and then have the ladies talk to her. I did not want to be a distraction in a moment meant only for Jesus.

Suddenly, Greg was no longer eager to leave, after we had prayed for him. So, when he had turned his head a bit, I sneaked Phyllis out of the conversation (sorry, Pat) to talk to Brandy.

Phyllis asked her about her background, made sure she understood her state before God, and then that she understood the Good News of Jesus' Redemption for us. Then we prayed for Brandy, and then she prayed. We gave her a New Testament and some words of encouragement, and she went her way.

As I was driving away, I saw her sitting on a bench reading that New Testament. I wonder if she is homeless. I do know she had food. I also know that she is in the hands of the Lord, and, though it is impossible for me to help her anymore at this time, I know that He is every thing she needs and will supply all her physical needs. Please lift her up, too.

God bless you.

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