Tonight was the first time I’ve been street preaching for a while.
Having recently lost two people I love within four days of each other, my life has obviously taken a rather different turn for a while.
But tonight I felt ready to go back out. It’s funny how when you haven’t done something for a while, it suddenly becomes all big and scary. All day I’ve been nervous about going into the city tonight. The thought of going out there and shouting out a message that is generally unwelcome to most people made my stomach churn. I thought of how I used to love going out there and couldn’t really remember why that was.
But I felt I should go, even though I didn’t really feel like it, if that makes sense.
I put my I-phone music on shuffle as I drove into the city. I said to the Lord something I’ve never said before :
“Lord,” I said, “Whatever song randomly comes up first, I will take as a message from you.” Sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures…
Franz Family “Wherever You Are” came on:
“But the will of God won’t lead you,
Where the grace of God can’t keep you
You will never be out of His care,
Remember that the Lord’s already there….
Wherever you are,
Wherever you’re going
God is right there beside you, seeing and knowing
Wherever you go,
He already knows
What lies ahead
And what’s behind
You’ll always find He’s never too far from wherever you are.”
Wow. Ok thank you Jesus.
My usual 40 minute trip into the city took 1.5 hours tonight. It was raining and there was heavy traffic. But I felt there was something God had for me when I got there and so I sung and prayed.
However 1.5 hours later, trying to find a car spot, on the verge of tears, I almost turned around and went home. I said to God,
“Please help me, I need this night to be easy Lord.”
After I’d parked the car I walked down to the station where we preach. Standing at the corner waiting to cross the busy road, I realized I hadn’t been there for over 2 months. I looked at our “spot” across the road and I felt like I was coming home.
…..An uncomfortable, dysfunctional home yes, but home nonetheless.
That surprised me.
I crossed the road and at that very moment a girl came over to me and asked me:
“What makes you come out here to do this?”
We had a beautiful conversation. She was only 16 years old, and currently homeless – couch-surfing between her dad’s and a friend’s place. And in the city at night, all by herself. She looked as if she’d been through a rough time. Yet she was so lovely and soft and tender still, still a child. Poor kid.
I shared my testimony with her, how God set me free from a cult, from depression, from anxiety, from a hard and cold heart. How He has changed me, how He loves me, and how He loves her. I shared the precious gospel with her. She got tears in her eyes and said that she hopes she has the strength to find Jesus too one day. She said she was just so tired.
“You know what” I said, “You don’t need strength. Just come to Him as you are, He will not turn you away. He said for all who are weary and heavy burdened to come to Him and He will give them rest.”
She asked me :
“How do I find Him..?”
We prayed together.
I cried for her on my way home, beautiful child that she is. I felt His compassion for her. How greatly He loves her and is calling her home.
And I remembered why it is that I love going out there.
But…I have two questions:
How many more of these kids are out there?
“Who will go?”