Sunday, October 14, 2007
Evangelizing Twelfth St

The other day I'm walking home from the bank. It was a breath-taking day. The first brisk, fall afternoon of the year. Nice to get some fresh air. The kind of air that makes your lungs catch just so.

I'm just about to Laura and Jessica's house when two young ladies cross the street and approach me. They're maybe late teenagers. Maybe a little older. They introduce themselves as Rose and Miranda. Rose does all the talking. "If you were to die today, do you know where you would go?" I'm not really sure she caught my name. I hadn't been feeling too great all day, so I wasn't at my smart-ass sharpest. Then again, that could have gotten me into some real trouble.

She asks what I would tell God when he asked why He should let me into heaven. I try my hardest to explain that me and Jesus have been pals for a while. I go to The Rock right around the corner. I don't play the seminary card thinking that might label as the worst kind of pagan. She's not really listening to anything I say anyhow. She whips out a New Testament (that could have got me really going, now that I think about it), pointing to the Romans Road verses that are highlighted in blue. I'm chomping at the bit to ask if she's read the whole book, that chapters 8 and 12 are my favorites. But she probably wouldn't have heard me anyway. I'm such a jerk. She goes to great efforts trying to explain to me what the word "gift" means, that I don't have to do anything for it. She talks at me for maybe 10 minutes.

There was a lot I wanted to say. Honestly, not all of it mean, either. I've been doing a lot of reading about evangelism lately and thinking about what it means in this place. But they really weren't interested in a conversation. They sped through their presentation and handed me a flier about their Baptist church and said I should come. Chica, I told you I already go to church. I asked where the church was. "Oh, it's on Winchester Rd right around the corner." Seriously, that's not very close at all. I wouldn't be able to walk there. And then they were off.

Sometimes I'm cranky and Christians piss me off. I confess that. I was feeling pretty territorial about all this. They didn't want to hear that I knew God, that I moved to this street to meet Him and serve Him and hang out with Him amidst the characters of this street. Why didn't they want to listen? Why is their punchline for me to come to their particular Sunday gathering? Do they really want to know the street? Do they really want to know what God is stirring up?

They went on down one side of the street. I noticed another guy knocking on doors down my side of the street with two little tikes in tow. They left a tract in the door of the vacant duplex next to ours--"How to Get to Heaven from Kentucky."

The irony was pretty thick. And they had no idea. This is definitely going in my research paper on evangelism in the Oh-5.

And Christ, give me mercy for the next time I meet someone who won't listen to me.

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posted by Peter at 11:25 PM
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