Last Thursday, while visiting Denny Dawes at Southern Ohio Medical Center following his open heart surgery, I had the privilege of meeting a young man named Johnny. He works as a volunteer at the hospital, pushing around a cart with magazines and books on it for patients and guests to peruse if they so desire. Johnny approached Jason, Andy, Darin and me in the waiting area in which we were seated and asked if we would like a magazine to read. We politely declined, so he then asked if we would like to read a Bible.
Undeterred, Johnny then began to share a bit of his faith with us and invited us to come to the church he attends.
Now, Johnny didn’t know he was talking to four ministers. Andy quickly pulled his Bible out of a backpack he had with him. Undeterred, Johnny then began to share a bit of his faith with us and invited us to come to the church he attends in New Boston, Ohio. I explained that I was a minister from Florida, and that it would be a bit of a drive for me, but I told him that I appreciated his invitation. Johnny then told us that he was still on this earth due to the Amazing Grace of God. He then shared the details of his testimony with us.
To make a long story short, Johnny fell 80 feet off of the big rock at Hanging Rock, Ohio, following a night of drinking and drug abuse. He broke several bones (right foot, leg, shoulder, some toes, and his left shoulder as well), and suffered serious internal injuries as well as some brain damage. He walks with a marked limp, his speech is slow and deliberate, but the sparkle in his eyes tells of his love for Jesus. The words of his mouth do, too.
I am overwhelmed with the sense that Johnny loves Jesus so much that he is not afraid to approach strangers and tell them his story. That is exactly my preferred method of evangelism! Now, Johnny has a dramatic story to tell, no doubt about that, but the punctuation mark at the end of his story is a big exclamation point. That would be his invitation to join him at church. See, he didn’t just tell his story, he ended with an invitation to join him. What a brave man, Johnny is! What genuine love he expresses. Johnny literally lives a lifestyle of one beggar telling other beggars where to find Bread.
Johnny is a man who has made following Jesus the only priority of his life. He has a priorities in the proper perspective. I want to be more like Johnny in my daily walk with Christ. Today, I am praying that God will strengthen my resolve and remind me of my promise to follow Christ. May you do the same.