The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32 NIV
Since the beginning of the 2010 Pocket Full of Quarter’s Missionary Journey, Belle the Missionary Dog and I have traveled in our camper van, Halleluiah, through 20 states evangelizing and handing out quarters. I’m writing from Florida but soon will be heading up the East Coast. Every person we meet is in a different phase of the continuum of his or her walk towards or away from The Truth. Below are a few recent examples.
Seekers – Need The Truth and Time to ThinkJules said she was a former Mormon. She left the church because she thought the rules were silly. She lived in Utah, where everyone she knew believed the same teachings. She’d never heard about God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit or that grace was free if you asked. She was a young mother and wife and said, “I want my 2-year-old son to learn about God but I can’t take him to a church I don’t believe it. I’m trying to learn about other religions.”
“May I tell you a little about traditional Christianity?” I asked. She nodded eagerly and listened with rapt attention. At the end of the “Truth Lesson,” I invited her to pray to receive Jesus.
“Not yet,” she said, backing up. “I have to think about things. Can I keep this information?”
“Absolutely,” I said. “Here’s a card to my website. The quarter in it represents the free grace of God. The website contains more information. Jules, I can see it in your eyes. You’ve recognized the truth. This is simple. All you have to do is ask Jesus to help you in your unbelief and pray the prayer in that pamphlet. The Holy Spirit will do the rest.”
Rebels – Wait Until Truth Has Their Attention and Go SlowlyEmma grew up forced to go to church and hadn’t personalized it. When her sister announced she was a lesbian, Emma’s religious mother struggled. Emma decided religion was judgmental and rejected it. Then her best friend got addicted to cocaine. She worried about him and watched him ruin his life until he met Jesus. She said, “The change in him was amazing. He is off cocaine and productive. Now he wants me to think about Jesus. I suppose all of this could be real. It has sure helped him.”
“What do you know about becoming a Christian?” I asked.
“I suppose you have to go to church and get baptized,” she said.
“No,” I said. “Christianity is about a relationship with Jesus. Those things you mentioned are important but not about becoming a Christian. May I share with you the way?” She nodded and I spent the next 20 minutes reading scriptures that demonstrated that the Jesus loved her, wanted a relationship with her, and was waiting for her to invite Him into her life. She listened openly but I knew that if you push a rebel to pray for salvation too soon, it could postpone that decision for years.
“Think about it,” I suggested. “Read this. I’m sure your friend would be honored if you prayed this prayer with him.”
The Fearful – Need Help Identifying and Releasing What is Blocking TruthSandy was a non-practicing Jew. A Christian friend helped her understand Jesus was real and possibly the Messiah that her faith was waiting on. She knew how to pray to receive Him but was terrified of what it would do to her family relationships. When I probed, I found the root of her fear. It was deep and went back to her childhood. An aunt had become a Christian. The family ostracized the aunt, who later committed suicide.
I took her hands. “Tell me exactly what you’re afraid of.”
“I’m afraid I’ll become a Christian and end up doing the same thing as my aunt.”
“Sandy – you already believe in Jesus. I can see His Truth in your eyes. You’ve come too far to stop now. Are you worried that meeting Jesus will change you so much that you’ll lose control?”
“Yes,” she whispered. “I don’t know what I’ll be like. I have a son. What if I do what my aunt did?”
“Can you make a decision to trust God with that fear? You don’t have to trust Him yet, just decide to.”
“I can try,” she said. Her hands were trembling.
“Good job. Now, let’s ask God to remove the fear.” She agreed and I led her to ask God to remove the specific fear. She looked up and took a deep breath.
“Tell me the first thing that came to your mind after you prayed to remove the fear,” I said.
“I can!” she said excitedly. “I suddenly heard myself say I can do this.”
“Do you want to invite Jesus into your life right now?” I asked.
“No,” she said thoughtfully. “I think I should pray that prayer with my friend. She deserves that.”
“What an honor,” I said. “She will remember it forever.”
Deceivers – Bolt from the Truth – Even While It’s Pricking ThemA shabbily dressed man knocked on my window. I cranked Halleluiah for a quick getaway and rolled the window down. Belle barked warningly.
“My car overheated. I tried to buy lunch but my credit card won’t work. You’re in ministry. Could you loan me a few dollars? Give me your address and I’ll mail it to you.”
“I won’t loan you money but I’ll give you some. I live off donations so I don’t have much.” I pulled $5 from my wallet. He reached through the window.
“Wait,” I said, pulling it back. “First, let’s talk about Truth.” I presented the gospel of Jesus. “Jesus is The Truth.” He took a tract and pretended to be interested.
“I’ll pray for you.”
“Sure,” he said reaching for the money. “I can always use prayers.”
“I mean now,” I said, keeping the money where he could see it but out of his reach. I prayed for his character and for Truth to be revealed. I finally handed him the $5 and he snatched it away. He literally ran from the car, jumped in his supposedly overheated car, and sped away.