7/14/11 Ralph, Bob, Ed, & others 50's
Out on my bike I came across some beer drinkin', White Sox lovin', talk like a sailor "good ole' boys" hanging out on some front steps. I stopped and gave them some million dollar bill gospel tracts, and everyone but Ralph took them. I started to explain them and ask some questions about their spiritual beliefs but they kept changing the subject to everyday small talk. They started to warm up when they saw that I had a sense of humor and that they couldn't get rid of me that easy. I finally asked Ralph if he believes in God. "Sure I f----in' believe in God, why the hell not?" he said, not in an angry tone but unaware of the dispespect he had shown. In his mind God was lucky that he would even profess belief. My next statement was not about God's love or the wonderful plan He has for their lives - I asked "Do you fear Him?" This caught Ralph's interest and from that point on it seemed like my honesty about Ralph's sin and God's judgement and punishment all seemed to earn his repect. He asked for several million dollar tracts to give to his friends. He took me around the neighborhood to visit other friends and listened when I shared both law and grace with them. I believe he has probably heard the watered-down versions of his need for Jesus without reference to the law in the past, but today I think the law helped Ralph's need for forgiveness make sense.