The million dollar bill
Many of you know that I work in a supermarket. I took the job six years ago when I left missions and it was supposed to be temporary but I am still at it. One thing you learn in customer service is that the world has all kinds of people in it. Customers and coworkers come in endless varieties with many different personalities.
One of the most common among customers is the person who more or less considers me an extension of the cash register. They don’t talk to me, don’t look at me and usually don’t respond if I talk to them. I am OK with this; I am there to help them, not the other way around. When somebody gives off that vibe I just shut up and do my job.
Well, last night a guy came in who fit that mold to a “T”. He didn’t respond to my greeting, made no eye contact, and said nothing. OK, fine. I finished and said “Have a nice night.” expecting and getting no answer. As he grabbed his bags and turned to the door, just before he took off, he reached into his pocket and handed me something and said “This is for you.” He then left at a brisk trot. I looked down at what he gave me and it was a million dollar bill.
Now, it was not something that had me running to the ATM machine to make a deposit but it was a reasonable facsimile of U.S. currency. I turned it over and in tiny print of the back, there was a message. It was a gospel tract. Among other things it said that I was “a lying, thieving, blasphemous adulterer.” It then told me to repent and put my trust in Jesus and to “read your Bible daily and obey it.” I looked back up but the guy was long gone and, at the rate he left, he might have even been in the next county by then.
This is an example of what I call “hit and run” evangelism and I am skeptical about it. Now, over the years I have seen the craziest methods of evangelism work. No matter how outlandish it seems to me every method seems to have at least some success stories. The other side of that coin is that no method I have ever seen rises anywhere close to a sure thing. It always seems to me that God simply refuses to be put in a box.
But I am still troubled by the hit and run method. It is impersonal, not speaking to me personally. It leaves no room for questions or dialogue. It may do more harm than good, annoying far more than it challenges. But I am no expert.
So tell me, what do you think about this method? Or do you have any great insights on ways to share your faith?