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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Making Lemonade From Lemons

By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Rom 8:28 NIV

Lemons start out sour. If you squeeze them and add sugar, they turn into wonderful delicious lemonade. Logic would have it that when a sour, squeezed life meets the sweetness of Jesus, that life would turn as sweet as a tall icy glass of lemonade. The sad reality is that it doesn’t always work that way.

Today, Day 2, of our Mardi Gras experience, my best friend Nancy and I stood and watched some sour faced Christians using an amplified bullhorn and vile posters to shout obscenities and condemnations to Mardi Gras attendees. To add insult to injury, they did it standing on the steps of the magnificent St. Louis Cathedral that Nancy and I had enjoyed so much yesterday.

They weren’t alone in their heckling. Because this wasn’t their first year of torturing party goers, non-Christian members of the crowd came prepared with bullhorns and nasty signs of their own. I apologized to Jesus as Nancy and I listened to the loud and sometimes obscene insults being tossed back and forth.

“I’m so sorry,” I told an angry man yelling into a bullhorn and wearing a t-shirt with a picture of Jesus pictured profanely. “I’m a Christian. Jesus is about love. Those people yelling at you are not representing the Jesus I know and love.”

“No kidding,” the man said. “They come every year. They stand on the stairs of a church we love and say horrible things.”

“I’m so sorry,” I said. The irate anti-Jesus crowd gathered around us and Nancy and I apologized to all of them, lacing scripture with our apology. We listened to their frustrations until they seemed to settle down. Other Christians walked by and added their apologies.

Are you wondering where the lemonade comes in? I was furious with those sour faced Christians until I remembered that all things worked together for good for those who love God and have been called according to His purpose. Those sour Christians had handed us opportunities to evangelize. Those opportunities led to at least 1 salvation, many presentations of the Gospel, two commitments from “atheists” to ask Jesus to reveal Himself, and a chance to be Jesus to an angry mob.

All things today did work together for our good. Nancy and I had a good day. We worshiped and prayed together and shared Jesus with many people. 4 of those conversations resulted in salvations. That makes a total of 8 salvations for Mardi Gras. I must also confess that Nancy and I also took time today for a 20-minute much needed foot massage, watched some amazing street performers, and visited fun shops. After all, we are female and best friends.

Tomorrow, I’d really like to meet those sour faced Christians again and thank them for providing us the opportunity to apologize for their hostility. I suspect that thought isn’t from God so instead, I’ll focus my attention on demonstrating love to a lost and dying world. For tonight, I’m just going to enjoy the lemonade.

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