She came out of a Palm Reading house, so I naturally asked her, “Are you a psychic?” We had a long conversation about her powers and what she does, how she reads energies and talks to dead spirits. funny how she couldn’t read my energy or know that I was a pastor. When she said that she was also a Christian, I said no, you can’t do both. In this overly-polite politically sensitive culture, I’m the first person who ever told her that. She’ll hear that from Jesus one day, but by then, it’s already too late.
I heard protesters shut down the 101 freeway because of the Election, and I thought, “they’re going to need a ride back.” So I drove over there in hopes of talking to one of them. I picked up 3. We had a good long conversation about how that protest was meaningless. I said, “You know California supported Hillary, right?” I should’ve told them to read Ecclesiastes. They felt like they were a part of something. sorry, but if you really want to be a part of something grand, join the Kingdom. No, I didn’t say that. I should’ve.
He tells me about all his successes with the ladies. BS. I ask him if he thinks he’s going to heaven. Probably not the best thing to ask when I’m speeding in a racecar. He gets offended and gives me a low rating. that’s alright. I have enough perfect scores as buffer.
Oh great. Another drunk crowd. They could barely walk so they wanted me to take drive them 1 block to Big Boys Diner. alright. but we had such a fun conversation they invited me for a burger. their treat. Occasionally I get offered food, because they love the car, and they love the ride. Occasionally I get hit on, twice by dudes. But I had compassion on this group. They need Jesus. Jorge offered me a bag of cocaine and he was so shocked that I refused. Who refuses free drugs?! I said it’s because I’m a Christian. “me too” he says. yeah right. let’s talk about what that really means, even if you may forget about all this in the morning.
Kianoosh was a chemical engineer in Iran making good money. Then he had to flee for his life because the government found out he was gay. He said, “Being gay is worse than being Christian.” We talked about religious persecution and how there’s so much freedom in the US. “I would never go back,” he said. But he couldn’t tell his family that he was gay. Instead, he said he was fleeing the country because he changed his religion to Christianity, which was a lie, because he “has no religion.” They wouldn’t understand. He said that many job applications require you to put down your religion, and if you don’t write “Muslim” you probably won’t get a job. As an Iranian chemical engineer, he is banned from any engineering job in the US, and he can’t get any certification for engineering. So he’s a cashier at Ross. I took his hand and prayed for him and told him that the Christian God loves him.
A telemarketer admited she scams people into buying stuff they don’t need, and then kills them with shipping and handling fees. I knew it!
He was a theology student at Fuller Seminary but decided to go into Real Estate instead. – from focusing on treasures in heaven to treasures on earth instead.
When he mentioned the Sylmar races, I caught him on his lie and said, “it doesn’t exist anymore.” Then we realized we were both there that night many years ago when the cops busted the underground racing scene at Sylmar and over a hundred racers were fleeing like cockroaches. Thereafter, we had to make the long drive to the Ontario and South LA races. Small world. We probably spend time with the same strangers over and over again.
I prayed with Justina that God would direct her path. I shared the gospel with Omar and said God spared him for a reason. I prayed with Dante in the car, that he would go back to church.
I’m just trying to make a difference one person at a time. And sometimes, I get less than 10 minutes to do it. But we are called to take advantage of every opportunity. Not every conversation leads to the gospel. Sometimes we share food recipes, talk about bartending tips, good restaurants, or underground street racing. I talk with strippers, servers, seminary students, construction workers, gangsters, celebrities, clubbers, you name it – who are drunk, depressed, or stressed, or high, or worried, or unsure/dissatisfied with life.
I can only do so much to lyft up their spirits, but I can try to introduce them to Jesus, who can lyft them up higher than heaven.