On my daily morning commute to the Baptist Building, I tend to drive the same direction and see the same things every day. This morning though, I noticed something different. In the midst of the cold temperatures stood a lanky gentleman moving briskly through the parked cars at the traffic light selling newspapers. He worked to make eye contact with each person in their vehicles. Most ignored him, others waved him off, but he didn’t sell any newspapers at this light cycle. As the light turned green and I began to move forward I watched as he quickly ran over to his stack of papers on the corner, picked up a few more issues and prepared to walk through the next set of cars to come to the light.
What struck me, after having seen this same guy for the past year doing the same thing every day, was how bold he was. Even after rejection, he went back and rearmed with more papers!
Let’s face it, selling newspapers on the corner is not a glamorous job. I would assume that a multitude of factors and choices led him to this point of life, but he wasn’t just sitting around. He was taking the news right to the car windows trying to earn a living. He walked fast and accepted hundreds of “no’s” and degrading looks in the hopes of selling one newspaper.
I felt compelled to pray for him immediately. While I drove and prayed for his safety and for whatever may be happening in his life I realized that I was being convicted. What if we as Christians used this man as an example of how to boldly proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ? While I am not advocating standing on the corner of a busy intersection, we all experience people (cars) that come through our area of influence (traffic lights). Why am I not telling everyone of them about Christ? Is it my fear of being told no? The degrading looks that people may give me?
I don’t know how the newspaper guy feels about the newspaper that he holds in his hands. But one thing I do know is that he cares about getting the money from your hand in exchange for that day’s paper. As Christians, spreading the Gospel should be easier to us due to our convictions and belief in Christ. The news we are proclaiming has eternal value and we want nothing in return – the glory is God’s alone. Yet we sit idly by pretending not to see people headed on a highway filled with death and destruction while we hide due to our insecurities.
My personal prayer is that I learn from the newspaper man and become more bold in sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That when I am rejected, I rearm and go back in. How about you?