My wife Karen and I have been through a lot in our ten years of marriage, but the one thing that has challenged the both of us was my commitment to try and share my faith daily. I have a tendency to be rather zealous; she is the quiet, shy type. I like invading the space of total strangers with the Gospel; Karen would prefer a more quiet, dignified approach. Still, as a dutiful and committed spouse, she supports me in my witnessing endeavors.
She first started sharing her faith with strangers by cautiously handing out the Million-dollar bill Gospel tract months ago, even though she was certain that someone would eventually kill her for doing so. When that didn’t happen Karen got bolder, accompanying me on occasion to various evangelistic outreaches. It was all going pretty well for her until that fateful day a few weeks ago when she met some nasty ladies on vacation…
Karen approached two women sitting on a bench enjoying the warmth of the sunshine on Venice Beach. Our 5-year-old, Laurel, offered them two million-dollar tracts. They shook their heads “no.” “You won’t even take a gift from a sweet little girl?” Karen asked with a smile.
“It’s a fake!” the older woman barked.
“Oh noooo,” Karen assured, “if you answer the million-dollar question on the back correctly, it’s worth more than a million! Don’t you want to know what the million-dollar question is?”
In unison, they both howled, “No!”
“You’re not even curious to know what the million-dollar question is? Ooooo, let me pinch you to see if you are alive…” she jokingly encouraged. “Well here it is: If you died today, would you go to Heaven or Hell?”
“Oh, I’m on vacation,” the younger one said. “I don’t want to talk about religion.”
Still kidding and trying to win their favor, Karen winked and said, “Don’t worry. I’m not going to say the Rosary or bow to the east. But I am talking about your eternal destiny.”
“Well, I go to church!” the younger one declared.
“It’s not about whether you go to church; it’s about your relationship to Jesus. ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His Only begotten Son, that whosoever should believe in Him shall have everlasting life.’”
The older woman had heard enough. With hackles raised, she growled, “I can’t believe you are out saying this to people in front of your little girl!”
“But, that’s what Jesus commanded us to do… to go out into all the world and preach the Good News to all creation.”
“Why don’t you just get out of here?!!”
Karen was hurt but did the right thing. “I will honor your wishes,” she replied sadly, taking the hand of little Laurel and walking away.
My wife and daughter left the ladies, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.
Not really—actually this encounter was quite upsetting, but Karen is faithful to continue pressing on in obedience to the command.
I’m very proud of her, too.