It was two years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. I was driving in the middle of a torrential downpour and struggling to see the cars in front of me. My son was crying because I couldn’t find his favorite duck song … you know, the one with the “quack, quack, quack” and I was running late for an appointment. Out of the corner of my eye, across the busy road I saw a gray haired man roaming the streets barefoot. Let’s call him, No-Sneaks Mcgee.
I kept driving, after all I found the duck song and we were heading places. And then it hit me – this is what I’ve been praying for. I’ve been praying for a chance to be bold in tangible ways so I could show Christ’s love to others. I’ve been asking God to use me and take me out of my comfort zone. This was my moment. Approaching a homeless looking man, during a storm, on a busy street, with my little kid in the car seemed to fit the bill. So pressing through my fear, I did a u-turn that would impress any Hollywood stunt department and chased No-Sneaks Mcgee down.
During the chase scene, I started to feel nervous that he would think I was a crazy, would reject me or that I would get drenched from the storm. As I pulled over to the side of the road I mustered up all my courage and began yelling “Hey, Hey!” as I frantically waved my hands around.
I got out of the car and held up a pair of my husband’s converse sneakers I found in the back seat. “I see you have no sneakers. Would you like these?”
A minute went by, which felt more like 100. No Sneaks was pondering this moment and I started to feel antsy like I set myself up to be a plot in a new Lifetime movie. The rain soaked me to the bone, I was shivering and all I could hear was “quack, quack, quack” playing from my car.
He responded with a quick laugh and a dramatic, “Ohhhhhh … you think I’m destitute? I’m just enjoying a nice walk in the rain. Those sneakers aren’t my style anyways.” And with that, he continued on his journey.
I totally got rejected …
looked like a crazy person …
and was soaking wet.
The things I feared happened … and I was okay.
In my failure, studying scripture on boldness and being intentional, I came up with 4 steps to Christ-Centered Boldness.
1. Get to know the heart of God.
When they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. ~ Acts 4:13
2. Pray for boldness
On the day I called, You answered me; You made me bold with strength in my soul. ~ Psalm 138:3
3. reject fear and speak LIFE over yourself and realize conditions are rarely perfect.
Be strong and courageous. Don’t be fearful or discouraged, because the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. ~ Joshua 1:9
4. Step UP and OUT
When you place your faith in Jesus, you can walk boldly and confidently into God’s presence. Walk in the confidence that God orders your steps and the Holy Spirit will guide you. Even if your boldness ends in rejection, have faith that goodness can still come from it.
Last week as we drove to the mall with my kids in the back seat, I pulled up to the light and saw a man holding a sign asking for money. The light was red and I reached out to him with a bag of goodies. Days prior we made some bags filled with food and other items that may benefit a person in his situation.
He looked at me with tears in his eyes. “Are you sure this is for me??? This just made my whole week!”
He stumbled over his words and seemed shocked that we thought of him before we even saw him. He thanked us and we talked until the light turned green. He blessed us as we drove off and I was thanking God that my rejection earlier hadn't stopped me from this beautiful moment.
For me, God used an everyday ordinary moment and turned it into something special. Perhaps my little act of boldness was enough to carry that man through until the next bold person comes along. So my challenge to you and me, is to seek out a chance to walk in boldness today (sneakers optional).