Douglas was a man who had a “back story.”
We all have a back story: Some of us come with a heritage of faith & faithfulness; some of us came with the testimony of God’s ability to rescue us from terrible circumstances; the latter was true of Douglas, a man who had a past that some of us could never understand or forgive. He was a three strike felon incarcerated at San Quentin until he finally arrived at a convalescent hospital with no belongings, no family, and no one to love him or take the time to share God’s love and truth.
One day the Lord reminded me of the promise I made to Him: “I want to serve you Lord, and I know there is a convalescent home down the road where people need to hear about you; I need to do something, do something, do something!”
I went shaking in my boots toward the home praying, “Please make this mission easy. If you want me in this place Lord, you’ll put just the right person at the front door who will allow me to talk to the patients.”
The Assistant Director, the one who coordinates all the volunteers, was at the front door, getting ready to leave for lunch. Was this a divine moment or what? “Oh Lord, I now know that I am supposed to be here.” I explained that I wanted to spread the gospel and hand out Million-Dollar bill Gospel tracts.
She listened to my request then asked, “Would you like to volunteer?”
Next thing I know, I’m being escorted to Douglas’ room.
Douglas was lying in his bed, incoherent, and looking like he was on his last legs. I prayed over him and laid a Gospel-tract next to him on his bed.
I continued to visit him over the next few days. He was alert, aware of his surroundings, and still had his Million-Dollar bill. I shared the gospel with him. “I know who Jesus is,” he told me, “and He is my personal Savior.” The tears streamed down his face as he asked for forgiveness.
“Do you have a Bible?” I asked Douglas. He did not, so I brought him one, and started reading to him from the book of John. Sometimes he would be conscious, sometimes not; but he always awakened when we prayed together. He knew that Jesus was with him even through his suffering.
He died a few days later.
The body of a lonely convict laid there with no one who to identify who he was. An L.A. County Coroner had to release his body for burial because he had no family or friends. He owned nothing of value, but had everything that is “priceless.”
Douglas is now rejoicing with the God who loved him.
It was a reminder to me that nothing else really matters but our relationship with the Lord, and how we share our faith.
Everything else is “meaningless under the sun.”
(Tina is part of our evangelism team. She has taken some “time off” from doing work with the group, so God provided other opportunities to share her faith.)