Ministry on the street continued. One week I was sharing my faith with a man on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn when he grew angry and tapped something inside his coat.
“You talk about heaven,” he said. “I’ll see how ready you are to go to heaven. I’ve got a gun here. I’m gonna blow your brains out. Then we’ll see how ready you are for heaven.”
My heart was racing; guns were typically more lethal than beatings. I did not doubt that I would go to heaven, but what about my calling that I kept feeling to bring the Church back to the Scriptures? Obviously I was not fulfilling it yet, since I did not even understand what it meant.
“If you shoot me, I’ll go to heaven,” I answered much more calmly than I felt. “But I’d prefer to stay hear longer so I can keep sharing Christ with people like yourself, people whom God loves.”
He backed up. “Yeah, you’re just scared,” he said, turning away.
Though a wiser person might have been satisfied with his departure, I did not want him to get the wrong idea. “I am ready to go to heaven,” I countered as he strode off.
The next night on the same street, that man found me and apologized. “Hey, man, sorry about last night. I was a little drunk. But I talked it over with my wife, and we want to come visit your church.”
I was too elated to ask him if he had really had a gun.
This content is by Craig Keener, but is edited and posted by Defenders Media.
For more, please check out Dr. Keener’s Impossible Love.