Pocket Full of Quarters Journey 2015
He Came Back
He Came Back
By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3:23-24
"Bob, the right blinker light is clicking too fast. This can't be good."
"No, it isn't. It is probably burned out. You'll have to get it changed."
"I don't have time."
"Turn the blinker on and go outside. Check to see if it is the front or back. If it is the back, it is a bigger deal." Naturally, it was the back.
"I don't have time for this," I whined.
"I’m just wondering who it is that’s about to get saved," Bob reminded me.
"Oh," I said, properly admonished. Bob hung up to make some calls. It isn't easy to change a blinker light on a camper. Drills are involved. Bob called back a few minutes later with an address.
I pulled into the shop and a smiling grey haired man walked over to the camper. "Someone was worried about you," he said. "My name is Bob too."
"My husband takes really good care of me. Hi Bob. I'm Cheryle." Shiloh went to barking.
"Hi girl," he said. "I hear you." He looked at me. "I have to open the back door. What do you plan to do about her?"
"Don't worry," I said as I clipped her harness to the seat. "I even have a muzzle so her barking won't drive you crazy."
As he began working, I asked where he was from. He was from right where we were. "Do you go to church here?" I asked.
He paused and grinned. "I could tell you yes and you would probably feel better but the answer is no." He kept working.
"I'm always a fan of the truth," I joked. "I'm in ministry. When things break, God is usually sending me somewhere for one specific person. Is it you?"
"Could be," he said, continuing to work. He looked at Shiloh, grinning. "I can tell you want to bark but you have that muzzle on. Sorry about that."
"Did you grow up Catholic?" I asked. I wondered what made me say that and could only attribute that to the Holy Spirit. About that time, another man walked up with the drill and finished the work. I almost laughed as Bob bolted without answering my question. That was that, I thought. When the other man finished the work, Bob came back to test the blinker. It worked.
"How much do I owe you?" I asked.
"$10. Pay in there." He disappeared again quickly. He didn't need to worry. I learned a long time ago to recognize a no and I don't push. I went inside, paid, and went back to the camper.
Just as I was about to climb in, Bob came back. "So.... you're in ministry."
"I am," I said, trying not to show my excitement. I have no poker face. I grinned.
"You were right you know." he said.
"About me being Catholic. You were right." Wow. I had demonstrated the power of the Holy Spirit without even realizing it.
"I grew up Catholic but no matter how hard I worked, I just couldn't seem to get it. I have a friend who is a missionary with another church and he even took me to the front of his church and had them pray over me, I still couldn't get it. I don't think God is interested in me. I've decided to stop worrying about it and just be as good as I can."
"What about the next life? Where do you think you will go?"
"You won't like my answer. I'm pretty sure I'm not going anywhere good. I just can't seem to do anything about it. Besides, I think the people in churches are mostly hypocrites. "
"All churches have hypocrites," I agreed. "I'm sorry you've met some of them. That used to bother me too until someone reminded me that the hospital is full of sick people and it manages to do its job." He nodded.
"Here's the thing," I said.
"Here it comes," he said, backing up. "Please don't preach to me."
"Stay here," I instructed firmly. "You're the one who came back. I don't preach. Let me tell you the Truth. We've all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and we know it. I've fallen short and so have those people in the churches you went to." He nodded enthusiastically at that, listening carefully.
"The wages of sin is death and we know that too." He agreed. I moved closer to him and touched his shoulder.
"I'm going to share with you about the sweetest thing I know. God loved you so much that He sent His only Son so that you might have eternal life. The gift of God is eternal life. My favorite line in the entire Bible is 'All who call on the name of Jesus shall be saved.' I can tell that you still believe in Jesus. You have spent your life learning about Jesus but it doesn't sound like anyone told you how to meet Him personally. May I lead you in a prayer asking Him to be your Savior?"
Tears sprung to his eyes. "No!" he said firmly backing up again. "It won't do any good."
"Here is what we would pray if you would let me. 'Dear Jesus, I believe in you - that you died on a cross and rose from the dead for me.' Do you believe that?" I asked. He nodded tentatively.
"Then we would pray, 'Help me with any part of me that doesn't believe.' That line is right in the Bible. Is there a part of you that needs help believing?" Again, he nodded as he frantically blinked back tears. He backed up and I moved towards him.
"I know the tears are embarrassing you but that is the Holy Spirit calling you. Please let me keep telling you what we would pray." He nodded.
"Then we would pray, 'I know I have made mistakes. The Bible calls that sin. I ask for your forgiveness.' Would you be willing to ask God for forgiveness?" He nodded.
"Finally, we would pray, "I ask you into my life to be my Lord and Savior. Thank you for my salvation." He completely backed up.
"You are a sweet lady but..."
I laughed. "I'm actually working on being sweeter but whether I'm sweet or not has nothing to do with this. I can see and feel the Holy Spirit working on you. My heart is pounding." By that time, I was crying too. "God wants to give you this sweet forgiveness and He longs for a relationship with you. It is completely your choice to say yes or no. Would you do me the honor of leading you in the prayer I just described?"
He wiped tears away and nodded. I felt my knees go weak with relief. I prayed through my tears and he repeated the words strongly and clearly through his tears.
When we finished, I said, "You are feeling the Holy Spirit. He is yours forever. I want you to memorize this feeling and walk toward it the rest of your life. Walk toward it when you go back to church and when you walk by a mountain stream. He has forgiven and forgotten your past. You will get to heaven and say, 'Remember that time when I...?' and He will say, 'No, I don't remember.' You belong to Him forever. The Bible says the heavenly hosts celebrate when one person meets Jesus and there ain't no party like an angel party." He looked up and there was that friendly wide grin again.
I congratulated him and gave him some information on what to do next. I showed him how to ask for the free book we offer new Christians. I drove away but had to park a few blocks away to compose myself enough to drive. All I can say is wow.
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