This is how my Saints on the Street article was featured this month…
It’s sunday morning, and once again I’m encouraging the multitudes of people who don’t go to a church service to somehow connect with the amazing news of Jesus.
Only this time it’s all a bit difficult and doesn’t seem to work. It’s cold and overcast for a start, and my cheerful approach just doesn’t seem to cut it with the busy shoppers who hustle and bustle past my picnic bench-cum-potting shed. they keep their heads down, intent on the next shopping destination, and my jolly hellos are ignored.
My unconventional approach on this particular sunday is to simply ask people to plant a sunflower seed. the idea is that they then take it away in a small pot and over the following months they watch the huge flower grow and it serves as a reminder of our meeting and the sharing of the gospel; which, I want to explain, is like some kind of cosmic seed that just can’t help but grow.
Despite the gloomy day and slow start, over a few hours we do get to talk with some people and several actually do plant a sunflower and take it away with them. I’m joined in this avant-garde gardening evangelistic adventure by Carissa, from Reading, California, an intern from the legendary Bethel church and the school of supernatural evangelism (she says that her non-Christian friends call it Hogwarts!) On the pots she writes ‘words’ for people. I observe what she is doing and am amazed that she piles up the pot plants, so that when we give them out they are somewhat, how can I put it, randomly given. I ask her about it and her reasoning is that God knows who we will meet and what pot plant with a specific word should go to whom.
This all seems to be working well until we meet a black witch who gleefully goes into detail about some of the things she is into. Her boyfriend talks about the ‘strange voices’ that come out of her when she ‘contacts the dead’. so, I wonder what’s going to be on her pot plant. ‘turn or else’ perhaps. Or ‘stop evil practices right now.’ no, the pot plant that she randomly receives has one word written on it. the word shocks me: it’s ‘grace.’ that’s it. Grace.
We speak to her and her friends of God’s love and the amazing gift of the undeserved gift of Jesus. this lady is genuinely intrigued, and wants to know more about what we were speaking about. she hadn’t heard about God’s grace before. then, to my amazement she reaches over to a bowl where I had placed copies of the Gospel of John and after I explain what it is she asks if she can take it home to read. I love how grace is a gift for us all, even for those who would appear to have rejected it, stood against it or even sought to destroy it. God’s grace, by its very definition, is for the underserved, like you, me and everyone else around us – including a black witch.