“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” – 1 Peter 3:15
Kim sent me into the Wal-Mart to pick up some potatoes – Yukon Gold, if they had them (they didn’t). I was hungry, so I was happy to run this errand for us – and pick up a snack for me! Upon walking in the door, I decided to inquire about the Buffalo Wings.
I walked up to the counter and was greeted by a twenty-something young man with those earlobe-stretching earrings. His looked to be about an inch in diameter. I’ve never understood that particular fashion accessory, but by now I’m used to seeing things I don’t understand. Anyway, I was asking him about the chicken and he was trying to answer, but seemed distracted. Turns out he was. He asked me a question:
“What religion are you?” He asked. I was a little surprised at the question: I mean, when you’re wearing a button that says “Jesus is Lord”, usually people know what your religion is. “I’m a Christian,” I said.
Then he began to talk to me: “I’m thinking I need to get into religion. You see, I was homeless until I was sixteen years old. And now I’m in a little trouble. And I’m thinking maybe I need religion so I don’t get in trouble again.” We spoke for a few more minutes. I gave him my name and number. Told him I was a Minister (He didn’t know what a “Minister” was!). Explained that my job was meeting people, learning about them and helping them find the help they need in Jesus and His church. Then we parted company and once again I was surprised at how Jesus had come to Wal-Mart.
You never know what path people are traveling. So we need to be prepared. Prepared with Good News. Prepared with confidence in Christ. Prepared to listen. And, above all, prepared to be pleasantly surprised when people don’t fit into the boxes we’ve prepared for them. What if all of us were more open about our Christ-following as we went about our daily business? How often would we be pleasantly surprised at Jesus’ coming to Wal-Mart, revealing Himself to someone we wouldn’t normally know?