1/3/13 Frank about 25
With temperatures down in the teens I wondered where I should go after work to initiate a gospel conversation. I couldn’t decide between an indoor shopping mall and a Starbucks that was on my way, so I flipped a coin. Starbucks won. That was the first time I’ve ever decided that way, and it seemed kind of unspiritual until I thought about how the Apostles chose the disciple who would replace Judas. In addition to prayer they used some common sense criteria to nominate two candidates, but in the end they cast lots! (Acts 1). When I arrived at the Starbucks a young eccentric-looking man named Frank had just sat down to drink coffee and draw in his sketch book. I asked if he would be willing to answer a few questions, assuring him I was more interested in his opinions than in hearing the “correct” answer. I asked what he believes about life after death, if there is one; if he thinks about it much; if he believes any part of him will go on after he dies; if he believes in God or a higher power. At first he answered with a simple “no” to most of these questions, along with some shrugs to indicate disinterest in spiritual things. I generally like to base my questions on the other person’s answers and opinions, but Frank wasn’t giving me much to go on, so I was glad I have a “storehouse” of these sorts of questions to try to jumpstart a conversation. “Do you plan for the future, like saving money or preparing for a future career?” He did. “Then wouldn’t it make sense to plan for eternity if there is one?” He said he just never saw any proof that God exists. “So without any belief in God or hope for a future life, what keeps you going? What would you say is your purpose in life?” I sincerely wanted to know. He answered – “I like to make people happy with my art” This got him interested, this was a place of connection, so I asked more about it, and he really warmed up to the conversation. Eventually I asked “If you were asked to draw your conception of what God looks like, what would you draw?” He talked about prior images he has seen, both from church history and from other religions, telling me this would affect his concept of what God looks like, but thought he really couldn’t know. I explained that the Bible gives us a very clear picture of what God is like, in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. It was kind of hard work, but I feel privileged to have been able to tell Frank about Jesus. Did God direct my coin flip today? I can’t be sure, but I’ll take it on faith He did.