Here, Take This

“Would you like one? Here you go. ”

I glanced at the hand as it stretched forward. I had just a few minutes to spare that afternoon and needed to reach the USF Student Center quickly.

A throng of people mulled around in the courtyard, and the feminine fingers pointing paper in my direction created an unwanted distraction.

“No thanks.” I pasted on a light smile and looked from the outstretched hand to her face.

Not as young as I assumed, she was probably a year or two past 25. She wore khaki capris with jeweled high heels and a dressy tank top, her dark hair held back in a bun that was a neater version than my own messy up-do.

Her eyes were dark and direct as they bored into mine.  “Here. Take this.” 

Her tone was strong, and my smile disappeared as I retrieved the small flyer. I was five feet past the young woman before the word, “Scientology” caught my eye on the colorful tract.

Images of Tom Cruise jumping on furniture and John Travolta’s perpetually smiling face came to mind.  We lived in Tampa the first 6 ½ years of our marriage, across the street from USF and Busch Gardens, and I knew there was a large Church of Scientology nearby.

Years ago we had Scientologists knock on the door of our first home, businesslike and serious, offering tracts explaining what they believe. Even after politely declining and telling them I was a Christian, they insisted. After closing the door, I clearly remember squinting in confusion as I read the strange verbiage about strict hand-washing and the evils of psychiatric drugs.

I’m not writing this to bad-mouth Scientology or any other religion. I’m grateful we live in a country where – for the most part – we can still worship as we please. What struck me that day at USF was the young woman’s determination. Either she was a good actress or she truly, deeply believed in the material she was handing me. 

Her strong belief in Scientology compelled her to hand me the tract.

“For the love of Christ compels us…” ~ 2 Corinthians 5:14

As I drove home that afternoon, lifting my current circumstances up in prayer, I was filled with assurance that my strong Refuge and Redeemer heard each word. As I gave Him my daily worries, handed over the unknown factors plaguing my life, and shared the bittersweet emotion about my five-year old going to kindergarten, the young woman’s words chased their way back into my mind.

Here, take this.”

“Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us; we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” ~ 2 Corinthians 5:20

Was I that determined to share what – Who – I believe in? Was my faith strong enough to withstand a mocking look – or full-on rejection? I believe so. Jesus means that much to me, and His love has made my life.

Scratch that. He IS my life.

How can I not hand that out to others? 

Oswald Chambers wrote of Christ-followers, “We are not saved only to be instruments for God, but to be His sons and daughters. He does not turn us into spiritual agents but into spiritual messengers, and the message must be part of us.”

I hope that my life – whether through my writing or through whatever means the Lord gives me to use for Him – is like that young woman’s hand, reaching with determination into an unknown place. Offering Life. I want to hand out the love, grace, and mercy Jesus has freely, abundantly given me.

I pray I’m able to say to others who don’t know my Savior, “Here, take this.”

“Take Him.”

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6 thoughts on “Here, Take This

  1. Wonderful thoughts, Kerry! I’ve not been approached yet by these folks, but we do have several other “groups” that come to our door. And the moment that I tell them that my husband is a deacon at a particular church and that we are Christians, some nod politely with psuedo-understanding, and others are a bit more pushy. I’ve begun turning the tables by saying, “Let me tell you what we believe…” Usually, most don’t want to hear.

    Denominations are man-made, not God-made, but here’s what I believe–there is only one way to our Heavenly Father, and that is through Jesus Christ, His Son. I believe Jesus was born of a virgin and led a sinless life. I believe Jesus willingly gave His life on the cruel cross of Calvary to save us from our sins so that we might have eternal life with Him forever. I believe in the Trinity–God the Father, Jesus Christ, His son, and the Holy Spirit. I believe that all who call upon Him will be saved. I believe the Holy Bible is God-breathed and divinely inspired. That’s just the short version. 🙂

    Thought provoking post, fellow “ambassador!”

    • Cynthia, in FB land I would click a hearty ‘LIKE’ here. But on my blog I say, AMEN!

      Have I told you just how much I love that blue ‘write’ notebook I won on your blog giveaway? I LOVE it. 🙂

      Thank you for stopping by. I hope you’re having a blessed weekend.

  2. Kerry,

    Your post hit me like a ton of bricks today. Would I be the one standing handing out flyers for my beliefs? My answer shocked me. No, I would never stand on the street corner professing my belief in Jesus.

    I prefer to keep my faith more hidden. I wouldn’t want people rejecting or laughing at me so, I keep it to myself.

    This gave me a lot to think about and pray about.

    Thank you for your post today!

    Kris Dahl

    • Hi Kris,

      Thanks for stopping by my blog. I’ve never given out tracts on a street corner, but I also never thought I’d be blogging so openly about my faith and sharing it with 800+ friends on FB.

      It seems that God uses each of us where our strengths lie, but then stretches us even more, just out of our comfort zone.

      He may not be calling you to street proselytize (spelling?:). Your call may be living Christ to your children and their friends, family, etc.. I believe God calls us to be bold where our hearts are. For me, that’s in my writing and in the relationships He places in my life.

      God Bless!

  3. I think God stands you where you understand hearts. I could do that on a college campus because I have a heart for there. Could I stand on a street? Outside a jail? Like the awesome 80+ year old man who greats our people at our church door, looking deep into their hearts and welcoming them with a hearty hand-shake – He knows the heart of those who walk in the door. For now that is where God has him stand. I guess it is about figuring out where you are to stand and reach out! What a call to action, Kerry! What a call to find a place to look deep into someone’s eyes and say, “here, take this. . . faith. Let me tell you about it.” !!!!!!!!! Makes me miss teaching:)

    • ML,

      I heartily agree, and what a great way to describe it – “God stands you where you understand hearts.” We have friends at church who love street proselytizing. I think it takes a very outgoing personality, which I’m lacking (though God could equip me if He called me, of course).

      As I said above (to Kris), I think God uses us where He’s gifted us. For us writers, that’s in our words written for His glory.

      Thank you for stopping by! God Bless your week!

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