Another Elevator Story

“One of the two who heard John and followed Him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, We have found the Messiah (which is, being translated, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.” (John 1:40-42a)

Sometimes, opportunities to share the gospel (in some tangible form, anyway), just “show up” and present themselves, even in a larger context. For example, I recently got into an elevator (here we go again, with another elevator story), and there in stepped about 4 or 5 other individuals, all of whom I knew, because I worked with them (we were in the same group). The thought suddenly flashed to my mind, “Why not tell them about Billy Graham being in town in a week? They need to know!” So I did. Here is how the conversation went.

“So, you guys going to Billy Graham?” (Loud enough so all could hear). “He’s coming to town in about a week.”

One of the women responded quite quickly (I have talked with her before about the Lord, and g-r-e-a-t-l-y sensed God’s leading in our conversation). “Who’s that?” she remarked. Others (one man in particular), who knew all about Billy Graham (but himself is not a committed Christian), responded by saying that Billy Graham was “like one of those television evangelists (who has been indicted for sexual immorality).” What can you expect? This is the world. His manner was joking. I know he didn’t mean any harm.

Somehow, I suspected the Spirit was leading.

Later, I commented to the woman (the other man still being present, on his way to his workstation just down the aisle from her), “Billy Graham has spoken to over 100 million people.”

The man responded, still joking (and poking), “Billy Graham is like 100 Huntley Street — same kind of stuff.” (100 Huntley Street is a Christian television program broadcast in Canada. It is somewhat similar, though not identical, of course, to the 700 Club in the States (something like that). It is hosted by respectable Christians).

We lingered. I didn’t say much. I “knew” (I guess in my “knower” or some such place) that I could not really say “too much” with that man around. I believe the Lord was specifically singling out that woman so I could share a little more about Billy Graham with her. Maybe she would attend one of the services in a week or so. Soon, the man left to go to his workstation, and I, as well, said goodbye to them both.

I went back to my own workstation and prayed. “Oh Lord, I would really love to give her one of these invitation brochures to the Billy Graham mission that is right here in my pocket!” I hesitated. “Is this of you, Lord?” (I didn’t want to offend unnecessarily). I felt the Lord’s answer was, “Yes, you ought to give her an invitation.”

I could have chosen to give her an invitation “off campus,” as it were (Nortel tends to be very strict about these things. An easy job-dismissal could be in place for anyone who was complained against. I have often been fearful of this and it has sometimes hindered my ability to witness. Lately, I sense the Lord encouraging me with a new, yet gentle, and wise (like a serpent) boldness).

I took one of the invitation brochures and walked over to her workstation. I then was able to hand her the invitation brochure. She was not offended at all. I as able to explain to her that “many people have found a new meaning in life by attending one of these events.” She gladly received it (though somewhat hesitant to want to commit herself to actually attending). I also suggested to her (feeling it was the Lord’s leading), “You and your husband both may want to attend.” (She hesitated a little when I said that.)

Perhaps you might like to pray for her. Her name is Vanessa.