E-vangie Tales #72 “Good Stuff, Bad Stuff”


I had just finished a really great lunch with my friend when something wonderful—and terrible—happened at a cool little restaurant called Good Stuff…

Before we paid the check, I wanted to give our waitress a million-dollar bill to show my lunch partner, Bruce, how easy it was. These Gospel tracts are the best, and I never tire of giving them out. People actually enjoy reading that they are lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterers-at-heart who will be condemned to hell if they don’t repent and turn to Jesus. Well, maybe they don’t enjoy reading that, but they sure delight in getting a real, genuine, one-hundred-percent-authentic—phony—greenback.

So I gave one to her; she said thanks, and moved right along.

Then a second waitress passed by and Bruce said that he wanted to give her one too. My heart sang as he extended his shaking hand with the bill fluttering like a wounded butterfly. Lily grabbed it. After some questions she admitted to breaking God’s law, acknowledged that she was going to hell, and then…then… repented right there! What? Unbelievable! My face reddened a little when she knelt down to pray alongside our table in the crush of a Friday lunch hour.

Now emboldened to save the entire restaurant, I gave another million-dollar bill to a very busy third waitress, Tanya, rushing between tables. “I’m sure I’m going to heaven,” she said confidently, “because I’m a good person.” I winked at Bruce, who barely concealed his bemusement.

“Let’s see if that’s true,” I said, pulling out my trusty “Smart Card.” “Put your finger on the red square.” She did. “Keep it there for fifteen seconds and if it turns green, then you are a good person and you will indeed go to heaven.” Of course, it never turned green because it’s just a paper Gospel tract with a painted red square.

Tanya was shocked to find out that she was a lying, thieving, cheating, blasphemer. “I guess I’m going to hell…” she blurted and ran off to another table. On the rebound, I told her about Jesus. With a nod, she was off again. Bruce wiped sweat from his brow as he said goodbye to me.

I ran to my car to get some Bibles for the two waitresses.

Lily smiled broadly and thanked me for hers’. I asked another waitress where I might find Tanya and WHAM! She laid into me. “You really hurt Tanya’s feelings with what you said!” I was about to defend myself but didn’t. “Christians should really be more loving and accepting,” she chided.

Shaken, I found Tanya standing just inside the kitchen and offered her a Bible. She refused it. “Your approach is a real turn-off,” she scolded. “You can’t go around telling people that they are going to hell.” I took a step back, looked around and noticed that all eyes in the restaurant were on me. I wanted to protest that she was the one who admitted that she was going to hell, but didn’t. Awkwardly, not looking to the right or to the left, I walked out of Good Stuff ignoring the silent mockers. Where did I go wrong? Did I push a little too much? Was I unkind? Lord, are you there?

I thought about it a little more and came to a sound conclusion…

It was all Bruce’s fault!

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