courageous person on mountain

Fearless Stranger

Last night, I stopped at a gas station after church (my service meets in the afternoon).

I walked inside to pay with cash, then returned to the car.

And this man – about my height – on the other side of the gas pump starts talking to me.


I can feel myself tensing up. It’s nighttime, I’m at a gas station, and this stranger dude is speaking to me.

Maybe he wants money.

Or something else.

My mace is in hand, and I’m preparing to depress the trigger if necessary.

“Do you know God?”

His question startles me.

That…was not what I was expecting.

A rush of relief sweeps through me.

“Do you know Jesus Christ?” *

“Um…yes, I do.”

“If you were to die tonight, do you think you’d go to heaven or hell?”

“I think that except for Jesus Christ, I’d go to hell.”

“Oh.” He seems a bit surprised. “Good answer!”

I sensed that he was maybe a little embarrassed, or aware that he had startled me and initially made me uncomfortable. And now he seemed to be hurrying to get in his car.

“Thank you for your boldness!” I uttered through the other side of the gas pump.

“…You too!” came the nervous reply.

Well, I wasn’t the one being bold, but…he probably wasn’t sure what to say, I thought to myself.

And that was that.

At that point, I almost wished things hadn’t ended so abruptly.

I didn’t want him to go away. This was family. This was my brother.

Couldn’t we have talked…just a little longer?

Needless to say, I’m very glad to have been surprised by the intentions of this related stranger.

On the road, I was praying that he would not be discouraged from sharing the gospel because of my startled response.

And I left that encounter feeling inspired, challenged, and a bit convicted. Because I’m not that bold.

Granted, I don’t know that I would feel so safe approaching a stranger at a gas station at night to share the gospel. :/

We each have different venues and arenas in which we are called to share the good news.

Parents…to your children.

Me…on my blog.

And some of us…to strangers in gas stations.

The Bleeding Blogger

*I may not be recalling all the events/dialogue completely accurately. This is an approximate rendition of events.

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