A young man waited at our door with a container of items at his feet. We have made it a policy not to support things we don’t know about, so I said “no” and then gave him a tract.
I really wasn’t surprised later that day to see the tract tossed aside on my neighbor’s sidewalk. I did not “invest” in this young salesman to “gain a hearing” for the Gospel. Just spending time talking to him would have shown I really was interested in him. Would spending a few minutes or a few dollars have brought an eternal return?
Fast forward several years to last month when I was given a bag of more groceries than I could use. I knew what to do and gave most of them to my neighbor across the street.
“I’ll make soup!” Cathy beamed as she examined the large bag. “My boys will love snacking on the carrots, too.”
A few weeks later, as I was spring cleaning, I brought her a box overflowing with toys that my boys had enjoyed when they were younger. Cathy’s boys, on tiptoe, tried to peer into the box as I handed it over to her.
Last week, a friend and I sat around Cathy’s dining room table to take a worldview survey with her. Suddenly tears filled Cathy’s eyes.
“Last night was very hard,” she explained.
We listened and we prayed and we hugged her. Then, we shared how she could know God personally. Cathy prayed to receive Christ with us! Her tear-stained face was radiant when we left her.
The groceries would have spoiled in my fridge. The toys would have put a few dollars in my wallet or rusted in the garage. How much better to use what Jesus gives to me as a tool to unlock a heart for God!
SIDE NOTE: Many years ago I gave up on the small return of yard sales and switched to the eternal investment of blessing someone. I could write volumes on what I’ve learned about giving things away. I’m starting a blog on stewardship, but it will be a little lower priority than this one for now.