09 November, 2007

Can You Hear Them?

Several weeks ago I was walking through downtown here in the Burg, camera in tow and trying a little experiment. I had a theory that it would be easier to get people to allow a total stranger to take their picture than it would be to get them to stand still and and let me witness to them about Jesus.
Long story short... I proved that theory to be true.
I came home with about 35-40 pictures of roughly 100 people. Most would
gladly allow the picture to be taken, even though they did not know me, and had no idea what I might do with those pictures. Of those same people, I was only able really engage in a real conversation with 4 people about Jesus.
Most, as soon as I began to talk about eternity, or mentioned Jesus or asked if they attended church anywhere; they were out of there.
How sad. In a society full of whacked out people who could do God knows what with the pictures taken, people are more willing to risk themselves or their families harm than they are willing to even hear about a Savior.

One conversation I had that day has just stood out and run through my mind over and over for the past several weeks. Two women agreed to listen to me only because a little girl with them said, "I want to hear about Jesus." So they sat and listened to me for a few minutes and then one of the women said, "What church would really want us to come?" She went on about how they had no money, and did not come from the right part of town. Then she said, "Church is for the good people and the pretty people. We are not pretty."
Honestly, she about floored me with that one. We talked about this for awhile and I tried to talk about how God sees her, but she told me how she had tried taking her family to church and how people had treated them like they had a terrible disease and would not even let their children be around her kids.
She was wounded. Her pain was obvious.
She'd had enough talking with me and told me I could move on. I was not about to offend her further, but before I left, I gave her my card and told her that she and her family did matter, that Jesus loved them and that at Harvest Church she would find folks who would not only welcome them but love them. She took the card, and I hope to one day here from her. But I have a feeling it may take a crisis to get her to call or come by the church. I realize that there are hundreds of people in this city alone, and in cities and towns across America who are just like this family. They are hurting. They are feeling isolated and shunned. They are silently crying out to us.

Can you hear them?

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