“Yes!” I triumphantly pulled an over sized book out of the free bin – full page pictures of animals and descriptions about them! I love finding free books at McKay’s. So often, they make terrific gifts! I had even found a perfectly good game of Candy Land. All the pieces were there, the box was just torn up a bit. Not a problem for me.
In my excitement, I had scattered my free findings across the sidewalk. A man came walking quickly around the corner and had to stop quickly to avoid tripping over my pile.
“I’m so sorry! Let me move them!” I quickly said.
“No. Leave them. You’re perfect.”
I stared at this complete stranger, a man my father’s age. He smiled at me.
In an attempt to break the extreme discomfort and huge stranger-danger feeling, I said, “Well, I don’t think leaving my books in the walkway could be considered perfect.”
“But you are. You are perfect. That’s something the church will never teach you. Everything you do is perfect.”
And he left. Just like that. A creepy feeling still lingered all around me. And I was left with a puzzling thought – does he really believe that everything he does is perfect?
Because I definitely wouldn’t call my actions at that moment “perfect.” More like – “inconsiderate,” “selfish,” or even “thoughtless.” After all, I had quite the pile in the middle of the sidewalk which is designed for people to walk on.
More than two weeks after this encounter, I’m still thinking about it. Here are a six of my thoughts, in no particular order.
- We, as Christians who know the true Truth, need to share it as often and as passionately as people share lies.
- We need to always be prepared to give a response, even when we’re digging through the free bin at McKay’s.
- Stranger-danger is a real feeling that people have. Keep in mind that even when you’re sharing the Gospel, you can give people that vibe and make them nervous around you. Build, build, build relationships with unbelievers so that they will be ready to trust you when opportunities come to tell them about the love of God.
- Bathe your day in prayer. You never know when you will need the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
- Memorize Scripture and practice saying them in situations. I sure wish I had a reply ready for this man. Although, I’m pretty sure he was just going for a “shock value” statement followed by a walkaway.
- Only Jesus is perfect. I am a lost and hopeless sinner. Which is why His sacrifice for me is good news.
Verses for meditation and memorization:
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.
In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.
The law of the Lord is perfect
reviving the soul;
– Psalm 19:7a
But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.
– 1 Peter 3:14-16