Tuesday, October 18, 2011

At the Foot of the Cross with Raoul and Oscar

Life has been very busy. The release of 180, which today has eclipsed the one million view mark on YouTube, has kept all of us at Living Waters in a state of perpetual motion. Add to that the upcoming distribution of more than 200,000 180 DVDs on college and university campuses, and overseeing the ministries Transformed and Deeper conferences, well.... Life has been very busy.

As I drove home from Living Waters yesterday, I tried to remember the last time I had taken out the cross. I couldn't. So, I decided to head out with the cross for about an hour or so, before dinner. I went to the corner (Lyons Avenue and Avenida Entrana, Newhall, CA) where more than two years ago I stood with the cross, for the first time.

Within minutes, I watched as a man driving westbound on Lyons Avenue made an erratic turn from the #1 westbound lane to northbound Avenida Entrana. He quickly pulled into the parking lot across the street from where I was standing.

The man got out of his car, walked to the corner opposite me, and began to nervously pace back and forth. After a few minutes, he walked across the street to my corner. He slowly walked behind and around me and stood next to the traffic light. I didn't have a very good vibe about this guy, but I tried to engage him by handing him a gospel tract.

He would not look me in the eye and silently responded to my offer with his middle finger. I asked him if that was all he had to say and he responded by grabbing his buttocks. While expressive, he was not very articulate.

When the light turned green, the man darted across the street, but only went halfway before turning around and returning to my corner. He then made his way back across the street to the corner opposite me where he continued his bizarre behavior of pacing and staring at the intersection.

Oh, did I mention the man, in his mid-fifties, had long wild white hair and was wearing a grim reaper t-shirt?

As the man carried on across the street, a car with two young men came to a stop at the light, eastbound on Lyons Avenue. They were at least fifty feet away from where I stood on the corner. Both young men looked over at me, smiled, and asked, "Ready for What?"

I pointed to the parking lot where my car was parked. "There's a parking lot right there! Come on over, and I will answer your questions!"

The light turned green, and the two young men drove down the road.

I was disappointed but not surprised that the two young men didn't stop. What happened next, however, did surprise me.

A few minutes later I saw the same car with the same two young men driving toward the intersection, westbound on Lyons Avenue. The car made the right turn onto Avenida Entrana and immediately turned into the parking lot. The two young men got out of the car, walked past the grim reaper t-shirt-wearing man, and made their way to my side of the street.

There names were Raoul and Oscar.

I introduced myself, shook their hands, and thanked them for stopping to talk to me. The following is the conversation I had with Raoul and Oscar. The audio was captured on my iPhone, which was in my pants pocket, so the sound quality isn't as good as it could be. But if you're patient and listen carefully you will be able to hear the entire conversation.

You can also listen to and/or download the audio of this conversation, here.

What a blessing! What a blessing to be given the opportunity to share the law and the gospel with Raoul and Oscar--two young men I would have never met had I not been standing on the corner with my cross.

Join me in praying that Raoul and Oscar will receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.