On my way to work, I noticed along side of the road a homeless couple, leaned up against a utility box. Wearing a bright pink handkerchief around her head and birch-stained corduroy pants with a blouse that hadn’t seen a wash for many weeks, was a woman in her late forties. Her husband was drawn close to her side as they were sharing a blanket and something to eat. My attention was drawn to the cloud of need that was encompassed about them like a curtain.
My car methodically plugged around the corner and then another and even yet another. Two souls in need drew further away with each rotation of my tires. All along the Lord whispered at my heart, “They need me”.
“They need me”, he repeated. I could not go on. I slammed on my brakes and swung my car around in the middle of the street and headed back to where they were huddled.
I returned to the scene but to my horror, they were not there. They were nowhere in sight. What had I done? Had I ignored the Lord and missed an opportunity? Moments later, I spotted them across the street, sitting on the curb with their knees drawn up close to their chests.
Parking my car, I approached them considerately. As I moved closer mine eyes and nose confirmed my suspicions, they were indeed homeless.
“Good morning”, I said as I announced my arrival, trying to be quiet but cheerful at the same time. “Good morning”, the lady answered abruptly. No response came from the man holding a half lit cigarette, rocking back and forth with his head down.
“My name is brother James with Liberty Baptist Church. I was driving by and just wanted to sit with you and talk for a moment.”
“That’s alright” spoke the woman. Her response was hasty and sharp but alive and cheerful, the sound of clanging teeth adding to the mechanical way in which she spoke.
“I would like to ask you a question.” I paused, there were no objections, so I continued. “It’s a beautiful morning and a tough one at the same time, but do you know that there is someone who loves you, waiting to receive you into heaven someday?”
“I don’t know that”, she responded just as oddly as before.
“It’s true. His name is Jesus, he loves you and he has treasures in heaven for you.”
I proceeded to present them with the gospel of how Jesus died and rose again that they might be saved, no matter what their circumstances.
As I came near the end of my presentation, I worried in my heart that this couple was too bitter from their plight to be willing to accept the Lord. I concluded by asking, “Would you like to have a home in heaven?”
After a brief period of silence, I began to expound on my question as if they didn’t speak my language and clarification was in order. My heart was breaking and I was running out of time to reach them.
In the middle of my dissertation, the lady piped up again load and clear, cutting me off in mid-sentence and exclaimed, “I’ll Take That!”
I was stunned at first, I didn’t know if I had quite heard her correctly. “You’ll be willing to ask Jesus to come into your heart?” I asked hesitantly.
“Yes I will,” she abruptly chided.
Without hesitation, for fear of losing her interest, I asked her to bow here head and we prayed the sinners prayer together. Her acceptance of Christ was sweet and sincere.
After she prayed, in the solemn of the moment, I put my arm around here husband who was still sitting there quietly and asked if he would like to know Jesus as well. With shaking hands and a gruff in his voice, through rotting teeth and an unwilling heart he responded, “No. I am a Melchizedek priest of the highest order and I have no need for Jesus.”
I tried to persuade him for a few moments more, but his heart was turned away. I lovingly encouraged him to remember my words and told him that I would pray for him. As the two got up and wandered away, I tearfully pondered the scriptures.
KJV 2 Peter 3:9: The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
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