Austin, TX. God is awesome. When new evangelists first get out into the street to bring Christ to others, it is often an experience of joy and deepening faith. To come to strangers with a loving heart magnifies the love inside our souls, and both the evangelist, and the evangelized, give and receive good.
Here we have first-time street evangelist Ernesto’s reflections on his experience:
“Facing the contrast – the difference – between working the vineyard in our own backyards, versus working the vineyard in this obviously secular world can be intimidating in a way. …
I enjoyed the prep class. Practicing the getting-out-of-the-way-and-allowing-the-Holy-Spirit requires discipline; me-myself-and-I always want to get in the way, so needy is the ‘I’ in me. The ego for some reason seems to always want to be acknowledged, it cries out for attention like a child seeking endless attention: “Look at me, look at me!” Fuera, Fuera, Fuera, reina en mi Senor Jesus!
Intimidation flies out the window when gratitude of God’s love and mercy is recalled. For the love of God the burden is not much of a burden. It’s love…
We encountered a few people. An elderly man needing help with his bus fare, who immediately accepted a rosary and prayer, then immediately asked to pray for us: “yes” – the answer is always “yes.” A Good Samaritan to my soul is he.
A few people put their heads down and walk around us, others look the other way (the way away from us), and others walk to the other side of the street.
A couple of young mothers with children take some cards and crosses. We make small talk, but kind and not pushy – should be a seed to be harvested later, if God wills. “Yes,” it’s always, “yes.”
Another man just takes a rosary from my outstretched hand without a word spoken. Walking away, fingering and looking at the beads, it’s time to pray. (A special wordless moment: a flash memory of my mother and I praying the rosary together the minute I came in her door. Those wordless moments – you just knew it’s time to pray.)
Others when asked if they want a rosary answer “I have some at home, but thank you anyway” (Inner voice: “WHAT? Not with you, not in your pocket? You came to the front line of the battle weaponless? WHY?” Wow. Me-myself-and-I is judgmental as well. Was that the little guy with the halo or the other guy, the one with the pointy tail and horns? Obviously, it seems God is not finished working on me-myself-and-I either. How long does it take? Grinning, a big “DUH” comes to mind.)
A young couple holding hands, with that lovey-dovey look in their faces. Young love is still love; God is love, and God is here in the now, in the present. They take a rosary looking at one another sheepishly, smiling at one another in silent agreement. God is present. We insist, “Take another. Are you getting married?”
(Those sheepish loving smiles, after many years of marriage, how many of us still have those sheepish knowing smiles?) When in love, you approach love and relationship in the same manner of all things of importance in life: you pray, separately, together and for, you pray for each other, that is how relationships are strengthened and fortified for the forever. The here and now passes, the forever never does. Love and marriages and families are strengthened through constant and endless prayers. So, pray.
Again, the knowing sheepish smiles. Have I told you God is good? Well he is more than just good Our God is Awesome……..
Thank you for sharing your joy and faith with us, Ernesto! Praised be Jesus Christ!