Greg stood there on the beach, the sand whipping against his skin from the winds of the storm. Debbie stood stiffly next to him, her eyes wide. Greg could not make out the strange man’s response in the wind. “I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear you. Would you repeat that?”
“I said I’m here to make a drug deal.”
Greg stepped back. he was not sure what to do. Their training was to share Jesus with college students on Spring Break. Not tackle the soul of a drug dealer. He knew the situation was risky no matter what decision he made. If they tried to take off the dealer could decide they were some sort of snitches, and that never ends well. If they stayed and told him why they were there he might get defensive. A defensive drug dealer was not necessarily a good person to be around.
Greg knew the answer. He and Debbie were the only two students crazy enough to go out in the storm to see if there was anyone who needed to hear about Jesus. The strip was predictably empty. Even though the rains had stopped, the sandstorm kicked up by the winds made being near the ocean miserable. Yet, they both felt they had to be there. They spotted this man standing alone in the empty gazeebo. Surely this was why they were here.
Greg screwed up his courage and faith. “Okay, what’s your name?”
“Mitch, I have a question I bet you never have had anyone ask you. Do you have a relationship with Jesus Christ?”
Disbelief showed on Mitch’s face and he began to laugh. “Nobody has ever come up to me and asked that.”
“Do you mind if we talk?”
“Naw man, we’re cool.”
Greg and Debbie shared how they felt compelled to be outside, and how God was wanting him to know He is there for him. Mitch shared his story of the streets. Greg and Debbie were almost giddy. They were sure they would see this good man stuck in a bad situation delivered, but then another man walked up.
He didn’t give his name. He was more of a young man than a real man. He looked out of place with his jet black sunglasses in the midst of a tropical storm. The man was jittery, almost jumpy, and the situation had just gotten a lot riskier.
“Who are these two!?” he demanded.
Greg could see the wounded look on Mitch’s face. “I guess you guys better go. It was good talking to you.”
“Same here, Mitch. We’ll be praying for you.”
“Why are they praying for you.” The paranoid man took a step towards Mitch.
“Easy man, they’re just friends, it’s all cool.”
Greg and Debbie expedited their steps away. It was obvious they had completed the part God had for them.
Decades have passed since that fateful day. Greg often thinks of that man standing alone and wonders what happened to him. He asks himself, “if God told me to be that risky today, would he still do it?” Somewhere inside, beneath the years of hard work, betrayals, forgiveness, and pain a still small voice says, “Yes.”