This day was going to be another crazy day! We took the cross down to the Harry Hines area recently to love on and meet with addicts and prostitutes. We have learned that many drug addicts and prostitutes hang out early in the morning because they are either out all night or they are needing their next fix, and so we went.
Let me remind you that this is Dallas! It sounds like a movie scene, but this is as real as can be and is happening all around us. We met up in a parking lot that is next to a tattoo parlor that is surrounded by brothels. The tattoo owner came out to warn us of the gang activity, drugs, prostitution, and the murder that just happened near there. I couldn’t tell if he was trying to warn us for our safety or if he was trying to scare us off! But our team didn’t miss a beat. From what the man said, we all knew we were in the right place. Jesus would be here and that is enough for us.
We know going into any outreach, that God is going to do something but we never know what. I can’t explain the feeling of expectation we always have before we go out and carry the cross. All I can say is that He gives us faith and we go with great expectation. We prayed together and we were off. And wouldn’t you know it, within seconds of me picking up that cross, a young man waved to me and came running over to me. The first thing he said to me was, “Can I carry that cross?” I said, “Of course!” and he proceeded to tell me his story as we walked. He told me his story about how he is a follower of Jesus but he had been in and out of rehab and comes there once a week to buy drugs. He told me that he knows his calling is to share the gospel with others like him but he was just trying to quit drugs. This man was in his right mind and honestly knew the Bible very well. I was wondering how long he was going to carry the cross. He never put it down the entire outreach! Two hours worth of walking. I knew it was going to be another normal day carrying the cross :).
We walked through brothel areas and through many little addict pods of people. I was trying to encourage this guy that God was going to use him in amazing ways because of his story. After these conversations, another addict came rushing over to us and he asked us to come share Jesus to his friend who he said was dying on the other side of the road. As we crossed the busy road, I told my new friend that I was glad he was with us to be able to talk to this guy. He then looked at me pretty nervously and made a comment that he didn’t know what to say. After he said that I was praying about what to say to the dying man. I knew my job was to help, love, and share the gospel with this dying man. I was prepared in my heart and I knew what I was going to say. We finally get to the man laying there up against a wall with some other addicts. We introduced ourselves and met everyone there and before I knew it my new friend (the young man who was nervous and didn’t know what he was going to say), just started sharing the gospel to the dying man. To say I was shocked would be an understatement. His words were extremely sincere and legit too. It was the true gospel and it was more compassionate than I could have ever made it. It was one drug addict ministering to another. I never had to say a word to the dying man. I was blown away by what I believe was a miracle. The miracle of the Holy Spirit coming into someone and making them completely bold and saying all the right things (the Truth). True miracle.
The dying man was somewhat coherent when we walked up but he was now listening. After my friend talked to him for awhile I started to pray for the man, and when I finished praying the dying man said something under his breath. I couldn’t hear him. I leaned in closer and asked him to repeat it and here are the words he said word for word. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have have eternal life. John 3:16.” As he said those words I remember thinking that he sounded and looked like a child. Like he was pulling something out of a childhood memory. It was so soft and sweet (difficult to explain). My heart melted and I began to tear up because I was in the middle of what God was doing, and also because, although this was a powerful moment, I was sorrowful for the physical state of the man. I knew this man was probably going to die soon. We offered him help in many ways, but he wouldn’t take it. There was really nothing more we could do. Only God knows his heart but I like to believe that when he dies, he will be a child running up to Jesus with perfect peace. This is the gospel! Oh how I love to share it. The story of Jesus that drastically changed my life. How could I ever not share it! No matter with who or what it costs me.
What a beautiful day. What a privilege to get to share this beautiful gospel. What a privilege to be around God’s hurting children whom He created. What a privilege to do exactly what Christ has called us to do. That’s a beautiful day.