Today marks our 11th wedding anniversary!
I’m proud to share my wife’s dramatic story of how she was persecuted for sharing her faith. I took the kids home and left her to relax at Carol’s Bed & Breakfast toward the end of our family vacation in San Diego. I certainly didn’t expect this to happen, but I’m glad it did.
I went down to have breakfast and was praying for an opening to share about Jesus at the breakfast table. An elderly couple and a Norwegian family had all gathered together to eat. I asked the man from Norway what he did for a living.
“I’m a pastor at a church in our village.”
“How do you evangelize there,” I asked, “since I heard that Europe is so spiritually dead?”
He gave me a blank stare and said, “80% of our villagers are confirmed at our church!”
That was my opening. I told him about how I use the million dollar Gospel tract as an ice-breaker and how I then ask the million dollar question: “If you were to die today, would you go to Heaven or Hell? I explained how I present the Gospel, knowing that they needed to hear it. Just as I got to Judgment Day, the son of the proprietor, a big, burly, biker type with a rubber band in his skinny Fu Manchu beard, broke into the conversation, railing against Christianity.
“The whole reason we are at war in Iraq is because of the Crusades,” he thundered. “We took away their land and now they’re getting back at us!”
“Actually, the conflict started back with Ishmael and Abraham,” I explained. The Norwegian pastor agreed. I then politely excused myself from the table, not wanting to escalate the conflict any further.
Two days later at breakfast, there was new family from Morocco and a lady from Massachusetts who began pouring out her heart, telling how she was suffering from anxiety, cancer, and troubled children. I absolutely felt compelled to share a Bible passage, knowing that “Biker Son” wouldn’t approve. “The key to having the peace of God starts with repentance and trusting in Jesus,” I shared.
“What do I have to repent from?” Marilyn from Massachusetts asked. “I’m a good person.”
I explained about how no one can be a good enough person. That if she has broken just one of God’s 10 Commandments, she would be found guilty on Judgment Day and end up in Hell to pay for her sins. But Jesus died on a cross for all our sins to save you from God’s punishment—”
Clearly interested, Marilyn asked another question: “How did Christ pay for our sins and for the sins of people in Old Testament times?”
I was just getting ready to answer when “Biker Son” burst in again, quite excited and agitated. “You’ll have to take that conversation outside now. We’re having Sunday breakfast and you are not allowed to preach a sermon or proselytize.” He pointed to the Moroccans. “After all, these people may be Muslims and you might be offending them.”
“I’m sorry,” I said. “I’d love to hear about their faith. I thought we were all having a very nice conversation.”
I excused myself to my room, thankful that I had already passed out million dollar Gospel tracts to everybody.
Postscript: Marilyn from Massachusetts came up to my room a little while later and invited me out for a day on the town where I was able to share more about my faith with her. She also treated me to an all day trolley pass, toe-rings and an impromptu song about the million dollar bill. And she gave me her cell phone number.