The man at the mall–Part 2

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”  Matthew 7:13-14 NIV

Yesterday we pulled into a parking place at the mall and loaded our granddaughter in the stroller.  As we approached the entrance, we spotted him on his regular bench outside.  He saw us, too.  My wife and I had hoped that he would initiate contact, which we viewed as  potentially an invitation to speak with him again about the gospel.  

Instead, he hung his head and closed his eyes tightly, refusing to even look at us.  He sent a clear message that conversation with us was not welcomed.  Now we’re down to two strikes with only one more chance at the plate, as we’re about to head out-of-town and may never seen him alive again.  

How sad!  I feel like a failure, but shouldn’t.  We are to make disciples, but the scriptures are crystal clear that more will reject Jesus than accept Him.  In our personal evangelism, sometimes we’ll succeed and oftentimes we’ll fail.  Having the courage to continue sharing Jesus with others is a demonstration of faith.

Today we walked again with our granddaughter and hoped to see the man at the mall for the third and likely final time.  He proved more welcoming today and actually spoke to us as we approached the entrance.  However, one distinguishing feature existed this time:  he wore a bandana with the devil pictured on it.  To us it seemed apparent that he had chosen sides and this juvenile demonstration seemed to be an “in-your-face” response to us.  Strike three, and we are out!  

At least we tried.  Obviously we need to hone our evangelism know-how.  I strive for excellence in everything I do, but in this area my skill level appears pretty average.  My only hope is that we somehow planted a seed in his diseased mind to accept Jesus as the Christ before he passes away.  Unfortunately, at this time it’ll take someone else to convince him as we will be gone from the area. 

Prayer: Dear God, awaken the man at the mall to realize the marvelous, free, and unmerited gift of grace that only You offer.  Help us to become better at making disciples.  Amen.

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