Tuesday, December 27, 2011

An Evangelistic Dream: Road Rage, Texting, & the Gospel

Oh how I love having dreams in which I clearly share the gospel with others! Whenever I have dreams like this, I wake up with such joy in Christ and a desire to share him in waking life. So here's the dream.

I'm pulling into a parking space and just as the car comes to a complete stop, I notice a man walking toward me from my right to my left. I can tell he's upset. As I open the door, he begins yelling at me because he thinks I cut him off while I was driving through the parking lot. I don't remember doing this and try to explain that but he's very upset and doesn't want to hear it.

I can tell that my explanations aren't going to help so I stand up but ensure that the car door is firmly between us for, on the one hand, I'm confused rather than angry and I don't want to fight and, on the other hand, I care about the man. I can see the hurt in his eyes. I know that his anger toward me is not about me.

Without really thinking about it, I say to him, "Okay, I'll let you say whatever you want to say and I'll listen, but then can I tell you about Jesus?" He reluctantly says yes and next thing I know I'm walking with him and another man to a room, it seems like it's a motel room but I can't really tell. Dreams!

Once we're there, the other man begins lighting into me about texting while driving. He's convinced that that's why I cut his friend off. I tell him that I'll answer his concerns if he'll allow me to say a few things about Jesus, and he too agrees. So I ask him to look me right in the eyes and I calmly but firmly say that I never, ever text while driving. I may talk on the phone while driving, or look to see who e-mailed or texted me while at a stoplight, but I never text while driving (this, by the way, is true in real life). His friend checks my phone to see if what I'm saying is true and discovers that it is.

This humbles the both of them and so I begin telling them about Jesus by sharing my personal story of conversion. The second man, the one who questioned me about texting, rolls his eyes and looks down while I speak but they both listen and with that the dream ends, or at least my memory of it.

So what do I take from this dream? Well, it is just a dream so I won't make too much of it, in fact, not long after I'm done writing this post I'll probably forget it all together. But for now, here are a couple of thoughts.

First, our minds tend to generate dreams that are related to the things we ponder in waking life, so this is probably a good sign that I'm thinking about the right things during the day. Of course, there is SO much room for improvement and growth in my life, and I'm not trying to toot my own horn here. I'm just rejoicing in the fact that for some reason my mind is thinking about the things of God when it's in its nightly coma.

This brings Philippians 4:8 to mind: "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." If we'll learn to live by this verse, our dreams will be saturated with the glory of God in one way or another.

Second, this dream has reminded me that I don't need to look for ideal opportunities to share the gospel with someone. If I have a heart to overflow with the love of Christ, almost any situation becomes an opportunity to do just that.

So, Beloved, let's not wait around for the perfect set up today. Let's be loving and bold and humble and determined to share the love of Christ. Let's pray and ask the Holy Spirit to give us eyes to see the hurt in people's hearts, and then reach out and touch that hurt with the love of the God who is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.

Thanks, Father, for this dream. I pray now that you will use it in real life and cause me, and others, to surrender our hearts and habits to you this day.

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