Tales off the street

December 31st we set up our table at the pancake breakfast in the hallway outside the dining room. When the weather is nice, we set up a table on sidewalks. But due to the cold, we were graciously allowed inside. We stayed about and hour and a half. Everything on the table was free to be given away—rosaries, metals, holy cards and pamphlets—to anyone who wanted them. As usual, we tried to enter into friendly conversation about faith and witness to persons. The homeless have been very appreciative of the New Testaments because they fit in a pocket. We are grateful to all our benefactors.

There was a woman who approached with her 12-year old daughter. The girl pointed to a crucifix on the table and asked, “Who is that?” I said, “That is Jesus Christ. Do you know who Jesus is?” Fortunately, she knew who Jesus was but had never seen Christ crucified. In her mother’s church they don’t use crucifixes because, “Christ does not live on the cross but lives in the hearts of men.” Of course I’ve heard that line many times.
I said to the mom, “Yes, we agree Christ was crucified once for our sins and he does live in the hearts of Christians everywhere. But I can’t think of any other symbol that reminds me more how much God loved us, and I never want to forget the sacrifice He gave to set me free. Don’t you think?”
The mom agreed with me. Then the little girl asked her mother if she could have the crucifix. The mother said, “This is not a toy. What would we do with it?”
I jumped in and answered, “Like a lot of other Catholics, I have one over the doorpost or on the wall next to each door of my house. It’s just like the Hebrews in Egypt did who spread the blood of the Passover lamb over the doors of their homes to protect them from the destroyer. (Exodus 12:22-23) Every time I leave the house this crucifix reminds me that the blood of Christ saves my whole family.”
She said, “I want that for my house, too. I will take this and put it on my wall next to the door. Thank you.”

Praised be to our Lord Jesus Christ who can use a simple crucifix and a few simple words to strengthen someone’s faith and dispel misunderstandings between Christians. It’s so simple to just share a little of your faith with someone. There is nothing more important than bringing people to Christ. What can you do this week to evangelize?

Joan Caldwell
Jesus is Lord. Spread the word.

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