I returned home last night from a business trip in Atlanta, and have been anxious to share this story with all of you!
I was working the past week in downtown Atlanta and decided to get a much needed shoe-shine. The gentleman shining my shoes was an older, southern gentleman named Willie. Willie had an outlook on life like one can only have that had been shining shoes his entire life! As any good 'shoe-shine', he began telling me stories from the past 50 years that he had been doing this. He shared stories from the many wealthy people he shines, to his upraising in the roughest streets of downtown Atlanta, to the major health issues he has faced in recent years.
As I listened to this sweet gentleman there was a peace from within that flowed through his calm, matter-of-fact words. Throughout the conversation I couldn't help but think how he must be a Christian to have such an outlook on life in the midst of such tribulation.
At the conclusion of the shine I reached over into my bag and pulled out a Witness silicone bracelets (I now always carry a bag with me). I asked him if I could show him something, which he readily accepted. I walked through each of the symbols slowly with him and then with glossy eyes he asked me to go through it a second time. He then went on to tell me about how Christ has blessed him so greatly and could hardly express himself as he tried to tell me how much the bracelet and story meant to him.
...those of you that know me know that I'm not one to draw attention to myself in the name of "Religion", but the Lord has tested me a bit in making sure I'm always willing and ready to share Him with others. To tell you the truth, there is always a little apprehension but it has been so much fun to watch Him open doors! Anyway, to get back to the story...
...his 'shoe shine' was in a very heavy traffic area (1st floor of America's Mart, for those of you that are familiar with Atlanta). After going through the symbols a second time Willie asked if he could pray with me. Right there in middle of the hallway Willie quickly grabbed both of my hands and began praying. Honestly, at first I was thinking we should really go somewhere a bit more out of the way, but that thought soon disappeared as I felt the presence of the Lord right in the midst of hundreds of people passing by. I'm not sure what I would have thought if I was watching this 'suit' and 'shoe shine' holding hands praying in the middle of a busy walkway...I probably would have thrown a couple dollars into a hat if they had one sitting next to them:), but there is no doubt the Lord was at work!
Once again, I have been so fortunate to have had the opportunity to share Christ with someone! The bracelets have made it such an easy way to share my faith, but not be 'in-your-face'! I want to encourage each of you to really keep your eyes open for opportunities to share your faith with someone. You will be Amazed what doors the Lord opens!
Please, share your stories with us!