Monday, July 7, 2008

No Thanks!

I had an amazing encounter today with a homeless man that left me quite perplexed.

On my way to work this morning, I passed him asleep in a doorway under a very thin blanket on some very hard concrete.

I decided to buy him something to eat to let him know that someone cares. More importantly I wanted him to know that God cares and hasn't forgotten about him, and I wanted to share the gospel with him. Thinking that he probably wouldn't have a great diet, I decided upon a nice double cut ham and salad roll and a 600ml orange juice.

By the time I got back to him, he was awake and puffing on the remains of a hand rolled cigarette. Good, I thought, I'm glad I didn't have to wake him!

I handed over the lunch, not expecting him to dance a jig or anything, but I thought he'd at least take it! What I didn't expect was what came out of his mouth: "I don't drink orange juice", he said followed by "and I don't eat ham either".

After making sure he really didn't want to take it, I asked whether it was because of religious beliefs he wouldn't eat ham - hoping that this would swing to the spiritual. He didn't seem to want to go there. The optical illusion tract didn't get much interest either.

Just when I was leaving I took out a ten commandments coin from my pocket, which caught his attention. He took that and I left him reading at least a short presentation of the gospel message complete with the commandments.

It got me to thinking though... at how many people will reject Jesus Christ the only one who can save them from a hopeless, miserable eternity of separation from God on account of their rebellion and self-centered, truth suppressing lives.

Isaiah 55:1-3

"Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.

Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.

Give ear and come to me;
hear me, that your soul may live."

Such a wonderful and gracious invitation! A holy and just God who is both willing and able to take the punishment you deserve, and place it upon himself - if you will only humble the knee before him, and with a repentant heart, cry out for compassion and mercy. As a beggar desiring food, and void of any means to buy his own, must cry out for someone to have compassion on him.

Yet many will say, "I don't drink orange juice and I don't eat ham either!"