06 January 2012

A Bus Pass and a Smile

“I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who
put their trust in me will no longer remain in the darkness.”  - John 12:46

I LOVE K-LOVE RADIO ... What a wonderful source of encouragement! Many times I hear a story or devotion that helps me put my life in perspective, and that is exactly what happened this week.

International Evangelist, Louis Palau had several brief devotional messages on K-Love this week about “Evangelism in Public Places.” What caught my attention was when he said that public transportation creates a perfect opportunity to be a witness. For the past month, I have been using the transit system (and taxi cabs) to get back and forth to work. When my car first died, I did a lot of complaining to God about the inconvenience, challenges and how untimely the whole matter was. It didn’t take me long to realize that I had a choice. I could continue to be negative and become miserable in the process, or I could change my attitude, stay strong in my faith, and ask God to make something good come out of this “untimely” occurrence.

I decided on the second choice.

Public Transportation: If you’ve taken the bus, the light rail or a commuter train lately, you probably realized how preoccupied riders are with their MP3 players and cell phones. It’s hard to communicate with anyone any more, let alone try to share our faith.  In his message on Tuesday, Palau suggested that it’s a good idea to always carry a book when using public transportation. He said, “It doesn’t have to be a Bible, it can be a book from one of your favorite Christian writers."  He spoke about how often can be a great conversation starter.” I thought to myself, “I love to read - I can do that!”

A Lesson Learned: I was riding the bus home from work, and the man sitting across the aisle from me was wearing 3 hooded sweatshirts layered one on top of the other… each one more ragged that the other. He was also carrying a worn sack filled with his belongings. I sensed that he was riding the bus not to get to anywhere in particular, but just because he wanted someone to talk to. Wednesday evening, I happened to be that person.

We struck up a conversation, or should I say – he talked and I gently nodded my head and offered an encouraging word every now and then. At one point in the conversation, a pile of papers fell through a hole in his pocket and scattered over the floor. As he gathered them up, he shared how most of the items were punch cards from local restaurants. He said that occasionally he would call a friend to see if they would take him out to dinner. Afterwards he would have his card punched for both of their meals. He did this because once the card was filled with 10 punches he could get a free meal. This complete stranger shared many other stories on our half hour trip, including the fact that he occasionally went to a “home church,” where about 5-6 different families met each week. Arriving at my final destination, I said good-bye and told him that I had enjoyed our conversation. His smile seemed a little brighter, and my heart was full of peace & joy!  Riding the bus isn't so bad after all.

I guess I didn’t really need my book this time, but maybe it will come in handy another day.

Restaurants: On Thursday morning, Louis Palau shared a message about how you can be a “light” even when you go out to eat. I loved his idea! He suggested that when the server brings out your meal, you have a perfect opportunity to witness by saying, “We are going to pray before our meal. How can we pray for you?” What a wonderful plan - whether that person is a Christian or not, they will know that someone cares about them.

It’s Friday, Let’s Sparkle … action required … I have been thinking about the man on the bus for a few days now, so this weekend when I am at the grocery store, I plan to purchase a gift card and carry it with me on my bus rides until I see the “weary traveler” once again. It is just a small way I can show him that I heard the concerns of his heart.

Next time you are out in public, whether it be at a restaurant or the library, on a bus ride or just walking down the street, remember that every day God puts people into our lives that may or may not know Christ. Don’t miss the chance to reach out and make a difference! For many people witnessing doesn’t come easily, but praying for God;a guidance will allow us to rely on His power rather than our own ability. When we become a “light to a dark” world, it pleases God and brings glory to His name.

I don’t know if you’ve had the chance to hear the song “Learning to be the Light,” by NewWorldSon. The guys in this group are committed to reaching people wherever they’re at. This morning as I listened to the lyrics, it seemed like a perfect benediction to this week’s life lesson. One of the verses says, “Oh God I just want to love on everyone, all I have is Yours to give, so let the people come.”

I am so thankful that all things can turn to good, as God offers to change our inconvenient situations in to “timely” opportunities. Looking forward to more lessons on the journey!

Have a blessed weekend...
God’s Peace, Donna Weaver

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