Monday, March 18, 2013

Who do I have in my coffee shop?

Grafton Street on St Patrick's day is a sight to behold. It is crowded with people young and middle aged, the old of course having more sense, and the vast majority have little or no idea of St Patrick's message (i.e. the message of the cross). We spent about 2 and a half hours, in the freezing rain, sharing the truth with enquiring people as we held our (waterproof) "Jesus" signs high. A certain member of our small band, who has been known to silence streets with her preaching, was herself silenced by the high volume background noise of the day.
Despite this there were numerous valuable witnessing encounters. On one discussion a young chap said "are you a creationist" to which I retorted " Of course. Are you an evolutionist?" when he replied in the affirmative I asked him about his own lineage and after he mentioned the fish I asked how could it be that the gills he breathed through could suddenly become lungs. The discussion was always good natured in that I cared about these people, actually it was God caring through me as I might have acted differently if left to my own resources!
On another encounter a young girl (15 I guess) approached me to tell me that she loves Jesus and she has just been to Lourdes. I asked her if that is what she would say to God at the gates of heaven if she died to which she said yes.  I then informed her that this was idolatry as she was trusting in her own works and not in the work of Jesus at the cross. As I relate this story please understand that I didn't communicate it with a "smart Alec, holier than thou and judgmental" attitude, far from it, I simply wanted her to look to Jesus like never before and realize the futility of her own efforts to please Holy God.
I know God is changing my heart, bit by bit, because of my reaction to those who openly mock and laugh, as some did. By God's grace I can point at them who raise their voices against Jesus and declare out loud something like "Jesus loves you sir!" It can arrest the demonic activity in  a moment and I am motivated to say that in the conviction that Jesus wishes none to perish but all to come to repentance.
We were blessed when a Brazilian family joined us for outreach, encouragement and fellowship afterwards over a cup of coffee. There was such love and encouragement between this merry band of seven  that the coffee shop owner at the end asked me who we were....Roll on Revival!