I was 65% of the way out of my comfort zone.
Grubby clothes, damp concrete, surrounded by the noises of Main and Hastings in East Vancouver, I sat next to my good friend and classmate and was thankful he was there with me.
We were on a class assignment. Our task was to simply sit and observe. Blend in. Just watch. Then write a paper about life in poverty cycles and addiction. I think we were actually there to learn empathy. But right then I was just learning about boredom.
"No wonder these people do drugs. I'm so bored." I thought.
We had been sitting on the same damp corner for an hour. No book. No phone. No nothing. Our boredom was interrupted by a haggard looking grey bearded drunk man with a coke bottle filled with vodka. He offered us some. We politely declined.
"You're new here aren't you?" He demanded of us. We nodded. "Go home." He said. "I don't care how terrible it is back home, you don't want to get stuck here. Get on a bus and go back home."
He was kind.
We chatted for a bit and then his kindness continued. He said "Well you are here now so here is what you need to know. Over that way two blocks the nuns give out bread in an hour. Then the best lunch you can get around here is 5 blocks that way but you have to sit through a sermon first. Then at 2pm you can get sandwiches over there, and then for dinner there are three good options….." We listened as this expert in hunger told us exactly where we could get food.
D.T Niles once said "Evangelism is simply one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread."
I like that quote.
Evangelism has such a bad rap. It's seen as manipulating people or trying to push some religion onto them. This is sad. Because true evangelism is portrayed beautifully by this kind drunk homeless man on the streets of East Van. It's one person who is familiar with hunger telling another hungry person where the best lunch is.
There isn't much I love more then sharing my beautiful-powerful-change-your-life-love-like-you've-never-known-before- Jesus with other people who don't know Him yet. I am filled with joy when I can share the good news with the lost and lonely that they have a Father with a home and a family waiting for them if they want Him.
Not because I manipulate people. Not because I'm arrogant and think I know more then they do. Not because I think they are wrong or need to change…… just because I'm one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.