Yesterday was a great day
I blogged for a few hours, writing the healing post (What to do when you’re feeling empty inside) and then set off, thinking I had spent most of the day already. But the Big Man had things in store, just like He said He would.
So I caught a train into central London. Went to the usual places – Piccadilly, Leicester, Covent… all good. Then headed over to walk in Hyde Park. I needed a walk. I went to speakers corner. hehehe.
Evangelising Moslems at speakers corner
But then some moslem people came along. He didn’t have respect for them and he wouldn’t engage them. They made some really strong comments about the bible and he didn’t sort the issue out.
After a while I couldn’t contain myself – I found myself lifting my hand and saying out loud “you’re wrong” and it was all on!! Pretty soon the moslem leader and I were discussing Paul, Jesus, the OT, prophets, Jacob and Ishmael… it was all on!
I know a bit about the koran and so I was able to point out some things that he might not have expected. I also poined out that he has no power over Jinn and that his followers have to go to magicians to handle the Jinn… but we Christians have authority over Jinn and over sickness. This was a telling difference.
We talked about why he could work so hard in his life and yet still not know if he is going to heaven. And then even if he thought he was, he’d still have to cross the thin chord that links this world and heaven (in his view) and if he falls off it, he falls into hell. His only choice is to KEEP THE LAW. But as a Christian Christ has done that FOR me, so I am safe!
He was very very prepared to defend his faith and very ready to argue that I am wrong. In the end the only way through to this man would be
- To demonstrate the power of the risen Jesus over the things of this world
- To love him and see the best in him
It was a fabulous time. I liked the man very much, I felt this way last year in Israel too – I have respect for these people. In fact I’d say we had great respect for each other. We talked reasonably with intelligence. I quieted the rowdy Christians, he calmed the rowdy moslems. We met half way and it was fantastic.
I ended the conversation, thanked him for the conversation – he was a brilliant guy – and I went and bought him a halaal ice cream to show him love. He thanked me over the noise of the small passionate crowd… and then he turned back and verbally laid into someone else with his characteristic passion and volume.
I walked along the serpentine river, up and back down again. Noticing people, the river, the flowers in summer bloom, noticing how different it felt to be here when compared with previous years. I have changed inside so much.
I then went back to Leicester Square and had dinner. Fish. Yum. Then I walked down to the river and then across the bridge. God had been guiding me because I saw the same person begging that I saw in the morning. You know when God lights up someone to you? They almost look like an angel or something. You just know you have to talk to them.
I had seen Ben in the morning and now again. So I stopped. We chatted. He is in a bad situation, an American that the USA won’t repatriate or help and his visa in the UK has expired and he can’t get help from the local government. He begs for the food he eats. Only recently has he stopped sleeping in abandoned buildings.
I used my new found evangelism gift to talk with him about God and Jesus and to share that I too had been down and out when I was about 20 or so. I could tell him with absolute confidence that I had turned to God and He had restored me, and God could restore him (Ben) too.
And then a funny thing happened. I had previously bought new trainers. On the flight over they began to not fit me. I wondered if I was growing? Then that morning my feet seemed bigger still and my shoes were not fitting at all. When I saw his tatty shoes, I knew that these trainers were in fact his. I took them off and gave them to him. He was absolutely stunned.
He began to tell me that he knows there is a God and that he had died and he had seen a vision in which God had shown him his life, it was like it was in a scales balance. His works (of love) were being balanced against his other works. The bible says absolutely clearly that EVERYONE goes through a judgement. That is what he was seeing.
I was able to explain to him that the judgement will be severe and harsh and that I don’t know who would be able to get through. But if he wanted to be assured of salvattion, that people who believe in Jesus do not go through the judgement. That’s what the bible says.
He has been reading the bible and he is searching. I told him where I had been in my life and I shared my possesions with him, just as the bible teaches us to do. I thought about Jesus words:
Then the King will say to those at His right hand, Come, you blessed of My Father [you favored of God and appointed to eternal salvation], inherit (receive as your own) the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you brought Me together with yourselves and welcomed and entertained and lodged Me, I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you visited Me with help and ministering care, I was in prison and you came to see Me.
Then the just and upright will answer Him, Lord, when did we see You hungry and gave You food, or thirsty and gave You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger and welcomed and entertained You, or naked and clothed You? And when did we see You sick or in prison and came to visit You?
And the King will reply to them, Truly I tell you, in so far as you did it for one of the least [in the estimation of men] of these My brethren, you did it for Me. – Matthew 25:34-40
It was when I gave him my shoes that he opened up to talk to me of his faith and his experience of God. Love works! Jesus was right! I know Ben will come through, God has His eye on him. God is working to redeem him.
The refiners fire
This process that Ben is going through is the same refininig fire I went through. I saw a preacher on tv this morning talking about the fire. When we are in the fire we get to see our own character, our choices, our morals. Ben has such a good heart, in the refiners fire where he is, I see a tremendous person. I told him so. He loves to play and write music and I wouldn’t at all be surprised to one day see a Christian music CD written by Ben about God’s love in his life.
I went home and today I feel like a million $.