|Golden Gate Bridge Near where the encounter took place.|
Not too long ago, I had an interesting interaction. While walking back from a birthday dinner with my wife I had an opportunity to share the Gospel. I usually do not like to write about different interactions I have with sharing the gospel; however, I feel that this situation is different. While walking back from our restaurant in downtown San Francisco, we were approached by a woman and her assistant on the street. She came up to my wife holding tarot cards saying that my wife had a great aura and that she wanted to offer a free reading, (to which inside I rejoiced at the opportunity to share the reason for our joy; 1 Peter 3:15). I proceeded to share the Gospel message with her; while I was speaking with her, the “assistant” began yelling across the street to what appeared to be the rest of the group. I realized that all of these women were a homeless group that went around asking for money. While I was witnessing, her assistant was yelling out extremely loud what I was saying to her friend, “He is talking about God.” As I was speaking with the tarot card reader, I asked her where she would go if she died today, to which she gave the typical answer of being a good person but followed with, “Because I trust in Jesus and that he died.” This usually does not throw me for a loop because you come across many people who know the right answers, however, as I continued with some questions, I quickly realized she knew all the “right” answers but her lifestyle contradicted the words she spoke. I, then, respectfully confronted her profession (tarot card reading) and proceeded to explain what Jesus would have said to someone who would have been doing something similar to that in his time. She admitted she knew it was wrong but couldn’t give an answer for why she was participating in a job promoting demonic influence. At this point in time, I began seeing a change in her demeanor and began to sense the ally God has given to us, the Holy Spirit, convicting her. I began to see the emotion in her eyes wanting to receive more than just head knowledge; however, right when I was about to re-share the Gospel a man walked by --mind you it was late in the evening on a weeknight and the streets downtown were EMPTY. This businessman in a suit walks by, then stops and yells at me to leave her alone. This caught me off guard; I turned to see who my “heckler” was and he began to advance towards my position telling me to leave her alone and sell my “stuff” somewhere else. I then began to attempt to bring him into my conversation but he kept his distance from me, continuing to yell and scream choice words at me. I responded with “I am sharing the good new of Jesus Christ, and the reason for me sharing this is because I care about what happens to this woman after this life, and I also care about you.” He continued to share his words with me and then he finally left. I, then, went to pick up where I left off with the tarot reader but the look in her eyes was COMPLETLEY different. I mean a noticeable difference; what I saw before was tenderness and an eagerness to hear what Christ had done for us. The look I saw now was hate and anger, she said, “Leave me alone that man is right you don’t care about me,” and continued repeating it louder and louder. I finally bid her a good night and said, “God Bless.”
I did not write this with the intention of leaving my readers upset or discouraged, for as far as I can see it may appear as there was no “happy ending” to my conversation; however, I wrote this for other individuals that also have a passion to share the good news. The point of this story is: do not get frustrated with the hecklers that come into the conversation. In this case, it was the businessman who interrupted our conversation. This wasn’t my first heckler and certainly not my last. I actually enjoy it when hecklers come because they attract more attention to the conversation so that more people can hear the good news. Also, do not take it personally when someone was once engaged and interested, suddenly turns off and slanders your message. James 1:2 came to mind where he says: “Count it all joy my brothers when you face trials of various kinds.” Did she walk away questioning her Salvation or what might happen when she dies? I don’t know and it is not for me to worry about. Something to remember when sharing the faith is that it is not our responsibility to worry about the outcome, as if our worrying was going to do anything. Instead, let the Lord deal with their heart, move on and be encouraged that God had given you an opportunity to share.