How many times growing up did you mom or dad tell you never to talk to strangers???
If you grew up in my family, you heard it a lot. But I was always too shy of a little girl to talk to anyone anyways. Well, now that I am older I make an effort to talk to strangers. Not in a sketch way, but in a kind way. I smile, say “hi!”, or ask “how are you doing?” just in an attempt to do something kind and possibly make their day better.
A few months ago I was out for lunch & cupcakes with a friend. We were sitting outside Gigi’s (YUM!) trying to eat a rich chocolatey cupcake, when this man came up and said “hey ladies! I got a question for ya- will you vote for me?”
Mel and I exchanged a look and then laughed. We were really taken aback that some random dude would stop and want to talk to us while we were clearly enjoying our chocolate cupcakes in front of our faces.
He proceeded to introduce himself, sit down at our table, shake our hands, and give us a dozen high-fives a piece for answering his questions. It was awkward to say the least. He told us about how a project for school could send magazines to hospitalized children or veterans in our state, and that by donating just $20 we could make a difference and help him get one step closer to his project goal.
Again, Mel and I exchanged a look and then she said, “sure!” She is all for donating to good causes and I figured if she was then what harm would it be for me to throw $20 in there?
As he stood up to leave (but not before he asked me out to dinner – awkwardddd or before he hugged us both goodbye- awkward again), Mel asked him if WE could do some question asking. He said, “why not?”
For the next 20 minutes or so, Mel and I asked him about his beliefs… his faith… “do you believe in God?” “who would you say Jesus is?” “is there more than one way to get to Heaven?” “how does one get to Heaven?” “John 14:6 says, ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through me.’ – that says there is one way to Heaven, what do you think about that?” “Ephesians 2:8-9 says that ‘it is by grace you have been saved through faith…..not by works so that no one can boast.’ so how does that contradict what you said about doing good things gets you to Heaven?” and so on and so forth.
His answers took us by surprise, but they definitely fostered more conversation. When we were finished talking and listening, he thanked us. A heartfelt thanks. “You don’t know how much this means to me. Thank you.” and he hugged us yet again, asked both of us out for dinner, and walked away.
Mel and I stood there trying to soak all that had just happened. Had he really just listened to us sharing the Gospel with him and not ignored it or walked away as soon as we started explaining that his answers didn’t match up with the Bible? Yes, he had. The Lord did a work in that man’s heart that day and I am so thankful that Mel and I were the ones chosen to speak truth into his life. I am thankful we were able to plant a seed into his heart.
Now I’m not one to randomly go up and ask a stranger a personal question about their religion or their faith, but after that day I’ve been more aware of such situations and opportunities. I try not to take any moment for granted because you never know when your breath or someone else’s might be the last. The encounter that day has almost been a challenge for me to share the Gospel wherever I go. And I challenge you to do the same thing.
Do you ever talk to strangers???