Touch Points - Closet Christian
Pocket Full of Quarters Trek 2009 – Give ‘em Heaven
Touch Points – Closet Christian
By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady
Or how can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,' when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? Luke 6:42 NASUNIV
What would it be like to balk your entire culture and convert to another religion? Could you do it? Could you do it if it put your life in danger?
I was standing in line waiting on a table for dinner. The woman in line ahead of me was wearing a striking red jacket, had dark hair, and beautiful olive skin. The waitress asked, “One for dinner?”
She turned around and looked at me, “One unless you’d like to have dinner with me.”
“Sure,” I said. “I’d love to. My friend Gail will be down in a moment to join us.”
“I don’t want to interrupt if you two want to be private.”
I laughed. “Believe me, you won’t be interrupting. Were you in our class today?”
“I was,” she said. “I was sitting in the front. I saw you when you identified yourself as an evangelist. I wondered what you meant.”
I laughed again. “I only identified myself as that because the speaker identified himself as that and I wanted him to understand the context of my question. My daddy just calls me a hobo.”
I went on to explain about the Pocket Full of Quarters Journey and how I travel the country. “What the word evangelize means is to lead someone to Christ. I try to do that. Are you Christian?”
“Yes,” she said. “I’ve been a closet Christian for a while and Jesus has been working on me for months. I finally decided to come out of the closet and tell my family.”
“Is your family Hindu?” I asked.
“Yes,” she confirmed. “They couldn’t understand how I could join a religion that had killed people like us.” She went on to tell her story about being born again and why she’d kept it a secret for so long. “There are people who would kill me if they knew I’d converted. My family wouldn’t do something like that but others might. The Holy Spirit told me it was time to tell my parents so I did.”
Gail joined us and I quickly caught her up with what we were talking about.
“I hope you don’t mind if we talk about this,” she said. “I have so many questions.” Gail and I spent the next two hours listening and trying to answer.
“I don’t understand why there are so many churches when there is only one Holy Spirit. I get confused about all the differences.”
“When I’m on the road I go to a different church every Sunday. If they believe in God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, read the Bible, don’t add any extra books, and have plenty of laughter, I don’t get too excited about anything else,” I told her. “The Holy Spirit will interpret the Bible for you.” We went on to discuss scripture, sin, church, and Christians. At one point I felt like Phillip talking to the Ethiopian. I thought to myself, If God decides to whisk me away somewhere, I hope it is Paris.”
“What about church,” I asked. “Are you attending one?”
“I’ve visited churches,” she said. “I found one I thought I liked but I don’t understand some of the meanness and prejudice I’ve seen there. How can they act like that if they have the Holy Spirit inside them?”
“I know,” I agreed. “It is hard to understand. People are not perfect and neither are churches. The church is Christ’s bride and Christ wants us in church. The church needs your gentle peacemaking spirit and your innocence holding up a mirror to her. How often do you read the Bible?”
“Every day,” she said. “It says something about splinters and taking out logs. How can people judge others when the Bible says they should take the log out of their own eye first?”
“Great question,” I said. “I tell the churches I speak at that they can judge after they become perfect themselves but to remember what the world did to the only perfect person. Seriously, when they judge, our only job is to love them. When we get mad at them for judging, then we are guilty of judging too. Once, I got irate at a church for not accepting an African American child into their daycare. The Holy Spirit taught me that I was being prejudiced against people who were prejudiced. It took 40 years but God finally worked it out. That church just recently hired an African American minister. God works things out in His own time.”
“I hadn’t thought about that,” she sighed. “I guess I’m judging them. Maybe this means I need to go back to that church. They have a good children’s program.”
At one point during the conversation, she said to Gail, “You are a good listener. You are taking the time to understand my questions. I appreciate that. I was scared when I realized who the two of you were but you’ve understood me.”
When we left, she looked at me and said, “You’ve done your job tonight. You have helped me.”
Cheryle M. Touchton is the Director of Pocket Full of Change Ministries. For more information or to schedule a speaker for an event, go to www.pocketfullofchange.org or call Gail Golden at 904 316-5462.
This ministry exists because people like you are called to help fund the work of the kingdom. To help keep the Pocket Full of Quarters Lady on the road as a traveling missionary, send your tax deductible contribution to Pocket Full of Change Ministries, POB 51205, Jacksonville Beach, Florida 32240 or go to the donate button on the home page of this website.