Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Two Different Young Ladies with Too Much in Common

Today, while "street fishing" for Way of the Master Radio at the mall, I met two very different young ladies with too much in common.

I began my fishing at the courthouse. It was cold and windy today, so there was no one outside the courthouse. Not wanting to run the risk of coming up empty for the show, I quickly drove to the mall.

Now, for those of you who are new to The Centurion Papers, I am somewhat, shall we say, "unwelcome" at the mall. I've never been told to stay away, but I have been asked to leave or to at least cease and desist in my evangelism efforts. So I went to the mall very low key--just a few tracts in my pockets, a tape recorder concealed in my jacket, and my cell phone.

Just as my segment was to begin, I found a young man named Leron who was willing to be on the show. However, Todd started asking me questions about the admissibility of forensic evidence in a court case--you know, a lightweight topic. In answering his question, I talked about my experience as a deputy sheriff, in courtrooms.

When I turned to give Leron the phone, he quickly got up from the bench and said, "Umm, I gotta go."

While it is speculation on my part, my years of law enforcement experience led me to believe that Leron might have had less than positive contact with law enforcement in the past. I think when he heard that I had served as a deputy sheriff, it made him just a tad bit nervous.

So, now I was left with finding someone in a matter of seconds. I quickly asked two men if they would like to be on the radio. They blew me off pretty quickly. The next person I saw was a young woman sitting on a bench. When I explained to her who I was and what I was doing she hesitantly agreed to be on the show.

With Todd listening in, I asked the young lady her name. She thought about the question long enough to tell me she was about to lie to me. Usually "What's your name" is an easy question to answer.

"Amy." She said with a smirk on her face.

"Amy it sounded like you were making it up as you go." I said.

"No. That's my middle name." She answered after another pregnant pause.

Without any prep or background, I handed Amy my phone. Listen to Todd's conversation with Amy.

I could tell that the conversation wasn't going well as Amy grimaced and repeatedly shook her head in disagreement.

When the conversation was over, Amy stood up, handed me the phone without saying a word, and started to walk away.

"So, how did that go?" I asked

"Well, I had my debate for the day." She said.

My conversation with Amy was short and sad. She was so inoculated against the Law and the Gospel that she just pushed the thought of eternity out of her mind and she created a god in her own imagination to suit herself.

Listen to my conversation with Amy.

Laura would eventually walk away, having had enough of our conversation. My heart broke for her.

I shook off the sorrow of the conversation so I could refocus on finding someone else to talk to. After a couple of friendly rejections, I made my way down the street, through the center of the mall complex.

As I passed a corner building, I noticed a young security guard pop out of a door. I recognized him, which meant he probably recognized me. Sure enough-- he started following me down the street. When I glanced back at him, he tried to duck into the doorway of one of the stores. I had to laugh.

I called the WOTMR studio. "Way of the Master Radio!" Answered the familiar voice of "Hip-Hop" (David).

"Hey!" I said with an animated whisper. "I'm being stalked by mall security!"

David laughed. He, too, noticed the irony of a retired deputy sheriff being followed by a security guard who likely has less time on the planet than I had in law enforcement.

"I can't seem to shake this tail!" I said with a laugh.

David put me on hold. When Todd got on the phone, I told him that I was trying to lose the security guard who was tailing me. After talking to Todd for a moment or two, I noticed that the security guard was not in sight.

So, I quickly walked up to a group of young Hispanics and asked them if any one of them wanted to be on the radio. They started speaking in Spanish amongst themselves. I was about to give up and politely say good-bye when one of the girls answered me in very clear English.

I was still on the phone with Todd. "Can you find someone if I give you another four minutes?"

"Yep. I think I have someone, now. Four minutes should be just fine."

After a few minutes of somewhat undignified begging and pleading, the young lady agreed to be on the show.

"What's your name?" I asked.

The group, again, began to talk in Spanish.

"Come on! That's not fair! I can't understand what you're saying." I joked.

That seemed to loosen them up a bit.

The young lady eventually said her name was "Laura," admitting that she was lying to me.

Laura said she was 18-years-old. That, too, was likely untrue. She wore a gold crucifix on a long, gold chain. She considered herself to be a good person and believed that good people go to heaven.

After Todd and I joked a bit about me being stalked by security (who, by the way, showed up again and watched me from inside a nearby arcade), I handed my phone to Laura.

Listen to Todd and Laura's conversation.

Unbeknownst to me at the time, she came across, as Todd said, "As the second perfect person who ever lived." And Todd was right. When you run into a person who truly sees themselves as, well, just about sinless, you do have to dig deep and work hard to help them see their sinfulness--longer and harder than the short time of a radio show segment permits.

Once she was off the phone, I took Laura through the Law. It took some effort, but not too much. She admitted to being a liar, a coveter, and a person who has dishonored her parents. I also showed her that you don't have to physically murder someone to be a murderer at heart.

It wasn't that Laura was arrogant. She, like so many others, was simply ignorant to her true condition, in light of God's holy and perfect standard. When she expressed concern about standing before God, being found guilty, and being sentenced to eternity in hell, I shared the Gospel with her.

Two of her friends (who couldn't keep their hands off each other) got up and left. But one of her friends stayed and heard the Law and the Gospel.

Listen to my conversation with Laura.

It was another good day of fishing! :-)

1 comment:

WayneDawg said...

Praise God for your commitment day after day to witness and be used by God.

I feel like this is going to be a confession....It's been a couple weeks since my last witness opportunity.

I told my wife yesterday that I felt like I was going to bust if I didn't call up my faithful brother in Christ and go down town this Saturday and street fish. She said as long as you take the dog to the Vet first before I went, she was cool with it.

And that is how I feel......Like I'm welling up with the Holy Spirit to be out there and tell a dying world that there is a way to be forgiven and spend eternity in the right place.

Keep up the good work Sir,

Dawg