join us was made as always. But that night would be different. We experienced a coldness and rejection of our invitation like never before.
Now, we always get the "heckler", the "ignorer", the "roll-my-eyes-er", the "I'll come back later", etc. But this night no one wanted to come. No one responded to the invitation. In fact, the opposite happened. We were mocked for making the invitation as the got up from their seats and walked past us. "It's not mandatory for you guys to come, but you're more than welcome to stay and enjoy the snacks and soda after". Nothing.
But we've always had someone come. Whether 3 or 30, there was always a group that showed up. So what about this time?
We were faced with the decision of either staying and waiting or counting it as a loss and heading home. The latter seemed easier to do. After all, God saw the effort. He knew we tried our best. I guess it just wasn't our night.
But we didn't leave. We opted to stay and preach to the seats. "Tell the seats whatever you were going to tell the youth" I told Danny Martinez. "We're going to run it like we always do and maybe someone passing by will hear something".
So we began to pray. We prayed for the youth at Covenant House. We prayed for soft hearts. We prayed for direction and clarity. Then Martinez began to share his story. He spoke about how he met Jesus at Covenant House. He was once addicted to heroin and crack. He was living on the street. His family didn't want to know anything about him. But God miraculously saves him in a way only God can.
Half way through talking, as he's reading a passage, a group of youth come in. They quietly and reverentially entered the room and sat in the once-empty seats. I was overjoyed. What if we would have left? What if we would have called it a night? What if we would not have preached to those empty seats?
God taught me a lesson that day. My faith was stretched. How has your faith been stretched lately?
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