A number of years ago, I stood outside an old, leaning house. Years of neglect marked the small place. There was trash strewn across the front yard and it was squished along of row of other inner-city homes. Across the street was an abandoned field with chest-tall grass and I could hear dogs barking all around. Standing next to a pile of beer cans on the front porch, I gently knocked on the door. When it opened, my visitation partner and I saw one of the biggest men I’ve ever seen. He was taller than the door frame and his shadow filled the sides. He invited us inside and we stepped forward to see him in the light. He was muscle from head to toe, wearing only gray shorts, and as he closed the door, he began to make fists. I had spoken to him earlier on the phone and he had been expecting us but he suddenly became angry. Muscles grew across his body as he stiffened. He raised his fists to his head and everything inside me screamed, “Get out of here. He’s going to kill you!” But then he turned and leaned on the wall.
“I hate my life,” he said as tears streamed down his face.
“Kenny,” I said, “Let’s sit down and talk.”
I sat in the middle on the couch, sandwiched between this giant of a man and my friend who immediately began sharing Jesus with him. This man was a ex-convict, just recently out of prison but already back in a world of hurt and trouble. He never told us what he had done to spend so many years in jail, only that if he told us, “you would want to leave this place and never talk to me again.”
I watched this man argue that God could never forgive him and then soften as the Holy Spirit brought conviction and truth. At last, I watch as he bowed his head and prayed one of the most simply but powerful prayers I’ve ever heard, “God, I got nothing to give you but if you’ll take me, I’ll come. Amen.”
He looked up. For the first time, a smile filled his face. His eyes, that had looked so dead, now looked so alive. God had saved him!
Moments later, as we continued talking about his new life in Christ, he stood up and grabbed something from the coffee table. We followed to the kitchen as he lifted a beer can and drained it down the sink. “I don’t need this anymore.”
God changes lives. Pray for us as we seek to reach those who normally wouldn’t come to church.
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©Copyright 2017 Kolby King
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