Saturday, February 26, 2011

Things I Learned Following The Cross

It's amazing how God can use a single event to change your life.

That's what happened to me after walking down the Fremont Street Experience with Arthur Blessitt as he carried the cross. And then to hear him share all that the Lord has done in his life over the years... well, it just spoke volumes to my heart. It's been a week now and the Lord is still showing me new things.

I know I've already posted about the movie The Cross and the CrossWalk itself, but I learned so much... I really want to share a little more.

I'm not sure what I expected from the walk. I was excited to go and be a part of it. That I knew. But I was unsure of how the evening would go. I guess if I'm honest, I was thinking people would just kind of walk up to me... ask me about the Lord... and I'd smile, say "God Bless You" and give them a tract. You know? Then they'd be all happy and as excited as I was and just follow along. Right? Well...  I was hoping. But that's not exactly how it went.

It's been at least 20 years since I've been involved in any kind of street witnessing, so I wouldn't be exaggerating if I said I was more than a little intimidated. Times have certainly changed. Some people were not as welcoming. Some wouldn't even acknowledge us. Yet some were interested and wanted to know more. My BFF and my Little Boy ended up handing out most of my tracts and stickers. I guess I was like the one providing for the 'missionaries' to go out. They both did a great job - and I'm so proud of them.

But to show you God's goodness.... When it was almost the end of the walk, about 3/4 of the way back, a man walked right up to me and asked if he could have the last tract I had in my hand. Here I didn't have the boldness or courage to witness to strangers, and my loving Father sent someone to me and showed me that He can and will use me in spite of my weaknesses.

Arthur Blessitt said "I am unworthy to be called by God - but my unworthiness does not disqualify me from the call of God." What a revelation that was for me this weekend. Instead of standing there fighting that 'thing' in my life that I just can't quit, can't do, can't fix or can't be... all I have to do is follow Jesus. Lay it all down... and follow Jesus.

I watched my 'Little Boy' follow Jesus on that walk. I saw him being used by God. Struggles and all. Talking to strangers. Walking up to people who would have walked right passed us. Sharing Jesus, inviting them to church. and loving them. God gave me a vision that weekend for my son... I saw him walking toward the cross, following Jesus... as he left those addictions behind. What an awesome God we serve!

My Baby Girl was walking with us and we would often get behind or too far ahead. From the beginning, she took it upon herself to be the one to 'keep her eyes on the cross'. She would ask "Mom, where's the cross? Where's the big cross?" What a great lesson for my 7-year-old. I told her how proud I was of her for always looking for the cross, always knowing where we were supposed to go... so we didn't get lost. I shared with her that this is how we should live our lives. We should always be looking to Jesus. We should always look to see where He is leading us... and follow after Him so we don't lose our way.

When we reached the end of Fremont Street, which marked the 1/2 way point, we were to turn around and head back. Well... at the end of the street there were these dancers up on a small stage outside of the casinos. Fremont Street is not family friendly, so these girls where pretty scantily clad. My first reaction was to tell my kids, "Don't look at the half-naked women up there... look the other way." Well... I stood convicted. The Lord showed me that I was trying so hard to avoid sin that I was overlooking those who were still trapped in it.

As I would later learn... one of the dancers, when she saw Arthur Blessitt walking by... jumped right off the stage and ran to the cross. Not worried about her job, how she was dressed, or what anyone else thought... she ran to the cross. She told Arthur Blessitt that she knew who he was, had seen the movie "The Cross" and was showing it to all her friends. God was using her. He saved her... right where she was.

There are many people who will never see the inside of a church... but they can meet Jesus out on the street... if we are willing to take Him there.

As I listened to Arthur speak Sunday night at our church, one thing touched me in a way that will never leave me...

He said when people say things like "Brother Arthur, you have such great faith, I wish I had the kind of faith you have." or "It must take great faith to go into all these places."...

He tells them... he doesn't go because he has great faith...he goes because he loves Jesus.

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV)

Lord, I want to love you with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind, and all my strength.

Thanks for reading and God bless!
Mary Ann :)

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