When our son Jeffrey was in his teens, my husband Gary used to travel a lot with his job. They were thankfully usually short trips – only 2-3 days at a time. Sometimes when Jeffrey didn’t have school he and I were able to travel with dad, and we enjoyed little mini vacations while he worked!
Most of the time we traveled by car throughout Washington, Oregon and Idaho, but sometimes Gary had to fly somewhere to exhibit at a trade show.
One time during Jeffrey’s spring break, Gary had to attend a trade show in another state. The last time I had been to this particular location was way back before Gary and I got married. I’m not going to mention where exactly it is, because I know there are a lot of wonderful people who enjoy vacationing there, and I don’t like getting hate mail!
Anyway, since Jeffrey loved anything to do with airplanes, we all decided that he and I would fly down to join Gary later in the week for a couple of days.
Since Gary was unable to pick us up at the airport, we had to take a taxi. Gary warned me that when I got in the cab to make sure that I adamantly told the driver the hotel we were staying in, and that I wanted to get there the quickest way. He said there had been a lot of scams where cab drivers take the longest route, in order to build up their fare.
Okay – I was ready! As Jeffrey and I got loaded into the wheelchair taxi, I looked at the driver with what I assumed was an “I mean business” face, and told him the name of our hotel. I was on-guard the whole trip, but we got there relatively quickly, so I guess he was probably afraid of me…
We got checked into the hotel just fine, and the next day Gary had some time off so we decided to roam around the town as there were stores and shops everywhere within walking distance.
As we did our best to navigate Jeffrey’s wheelchair on the busy sidewalks, I was floored at how many people were standing all over the place handing out little pieces of paper.
You really couldn’t avoid taking some of them, so I took one that was handed to me, and quite frankly was shocked as there were pictures of naked women on it! I threw it in the trash as fast as I could, not letting Jeffrey see it. Then as I started really looking around, I noticed that almost everywhere I looked there were billboards and signs talking of sex, strip shows and pretty much everything else you could think of. Even the public buses had for their advertisements women in various stages of dress (or I guess I should say undress)!
Gary and I tried to keep our “light” shining, but I was very thankful when we made it back to our hotel room.
The next day we decided to avoid the main downtown area, and instead started walking on some side roads that seemed decent enough. All of a sudden we realized that we were lost, and were heading towards an area that looked pretty scary. Oh-oh…
But as we looked around we saw the tram rails that passed through portions of the city, and noticed that it looked like there was a stop at a hotel a few blocks away.
We started heading in that direction, and then all of a sudden I saw up ahead a man standing by what looked like a bus stop, and he was handing out literature to people who passed by.
As we got closer I put on the meanest face I possibly could, and ignored him as I grabbed the literature he’d placed in my hand as we walked by.
But then something happened – he spoke to us!
We serve a great God…
My mind was elsewhere, but his words cut through my befuddled state. I looked down at the pamphlet he had pressed into my hand, and noticed that it was a Christian tract talking about God and eternity – he was out there witnessing to the lost and lewd!
I quickly felt remorse for being rude to him, so turned around and with a smile said,
Yes, we do!
I love that God calls His children everywhere to bring light and hope – in the most remote and dark countries where they’ve never even heard of God; and to places closer to home, where people have fallen so far into sin that they don’t even know what’s wrong and right anymore.