As I sit down to write this story, I am reminded of my own shortcomings. One important aspect of evangelism is that it will keep the evangelist humble. Every time there is a conversation, it is an opportunity to be reminded that the Holy Spirit is the one that leads people to faith in Jesus. We are so incapable on our own of any good that even trying to make a clear presentation of the gospel without the Holy Spirit working both in us and in the hearer is futile.
I was walking out of the grocery store when a friendly officer took a look in my cart and made some jesting comment about the lack of steaks. We walked on, and I began to ask him some questions about his gun. (Note: I have several friends that are interested in target shooting, and they have helped awaken in me a general interst in firearms.) I asked him how long he had been on the police force, and it turns out he is relatively new to the job. However, he spent years as a fireman and prison guard. Anytime someone works in a more high risk position, I think it is pretty easy to transition into an eternal conversation. This officer has seen death more than one time. He may have even been in situations where his own life was in danger. So I simply asked him, “What do you think happens after we die?”
I do think this officer was a Christian, but he was surprised by my question. It is funny how the toughest guys are a little startled by questions about eternity. The bottom line is that maybe he needed to think about his beliefs again. Maybe he knows someone who also sees death as part of their job but does not know what will happen when they die. Sometimes, maybe most times, we do not get to find out the reason why God gave us someone who needed a conversation about eternity. Our responsibility is not knowing the reason but rather being faithful to the task.