Divine Appointments in Unexpected Places
- Wednesday, September 28, 2005
As I was walking from my car to the front door of our ministry offices, I noticed a man in a black jacket riding a Moped through the adjacent alley with three dogs tagging along. He stopped in front of one of the office windows and peered inside. When he realized I was watching him, he said, "Excuse me. What kind of business is this?"
"A Christian ministry," I told him. I thought this might be a good witnessing opportunity, so I bent down and struck up a conversation with his dogs whose names were Tiger, Sarah, and Samson. After I engaged in a couple minutes of doggie talk with the pooches, the man (whose name was also Kirk) said, "Hey, you look like that guy!" He told me that he had seen me recently on television talking about God and asked, "What made you go that way?"
I shared my story of being an atheist turned Christian and asked him to tell me his story. He unloaded his whole story on me almost as if he needed someone to talk to.
He told me that he was married but had lost his job. He admitted he had been using cocaine and loved to smoke marijuana. He had lots of guns at home and had recently tried to commit suicide by hanging himself with a chain in his garage. He said, however, that he wasn't "strong enough" to go through with it and had put his head through the homemade chain noose only to see what it would feel like. I gulped.
This guy was really nice. He was polite, had a smile on his face, and to look at him you wouldn't know anything was wrong. I asked him if he believed in God. He said, "Sure I do." The rest of our conversation went like this:
"What do you think happens when you die?"
"I'm not sure."
"Well, would you consider yourself a good person?"
"Yes, I think so."
"Do you think you've kept the Ten Commandments?"
"Well, I can take you through a few of them and you can see how you're doing. Is that okay?"
"Have you ever lied?"
"Oh yes. Many times."
"What does that make you?"
"Have you ever stolen anything, no matter how much it cost?"
"Yes I have, and that makes me a thief."
"Right. Jesus said, 'Whoever looks upon a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her..."
"Oh yes, I've committed adultery many, many times."
The tone of his voice changed and he dropped his head, resting his chin against his chest. He was suddenly quiet. I continued.
"Sir, you just admitted to being a lying thief and an adulterer and you've got to face God on Judgment Day. If God judges you according to the Ten Commandments, do you think you'll be innocent or guilty?"
"So does that mean you'd go to Heaven or Hell?"
From this point on in our conversation, he was very contemplative. It was apparent to me that this man knew he was in trouble with God. We talked about the seriousness of sinning against a holy God and the reality of God's just punishment. He didn't argue or try to make up excuses. I discerned that he was feeling conviction and he was ready for grace.
We talked for another several minutes about God's love for him and how God demonstrated it by sending His only begotten Son to die for him on the cross, making a way for him to be reconciled to his Creator. I explained repentance and faith and he seemed to have a very good grasp on what those words meant. He didn't try to complicate things, or offer up excuses for his past actions, but said he understood that the only thing he felt he could do was to "stop doing those things and ask God for help." I re-emphasized the necessity of dying to himself (not to end his life by hanging with a noose, but to live for God) and trusting in Jesus Christ alone to save him from sin and lead him as Lord.
The man's eyes welled up with tears as we continued to talk. I gave him some things to help him along in his spiritual journey (a Soundly Saved CD and Save Yourself Some Painbooklet) and asked him if he'd like to pray. He was very grateful and we prayed together in the alleyway.
He told me about how a relative of his had turned to God because of a miraculous event in his life and how he wished that God would do something out of the ordinary for him as some sort of a "sign." I laughed as I thought about how out of the ordinary it was for a man named Kirk to happen to ride his bike by a Christian ministry building at just the moment "that guy" (another Kirk) was walking into that building, strike up a conversation about God that clearly showed him "the way," and end up praying for salvation. I asked him if he thought our meeting could possibly be the sign he was looking for. He looked up to the heavens, smiled, and then nodded his head and said, "Maybe it is." He gave me a hug and his business card and said he'd be back one day.
As he rode his Moped down the street with Tiger, Sarah, and Samson following behind, I prayed for him and thought about how wonderful God is to arrange such divine appointments in such unexpected places.
"Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me." ~ Psalm 139:7-10
Kirk Cameron is best known as Mike Seaver from the TV series Growing Pains. He is also known to Christians as "Buck Williams" from Left Behind: The Movie – based on the NY Times best-selling novels by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. Click here to read about the newest Left Behind installment, World at War and how churches are playing a key role in distribution this October.
For more articles by Kirk, and many tools that will help you learn to share your faith, visit wayofthemaster.com. The Way of the Master is an interdenominational ministry whose purpose is to teach Christians how to share the gospel effectively, biblically…the way Jesus did.
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