The headline in my local newspaper read, ‘Liquor Stores Under Watch.’
The article described gang activity associated with certain liquor stores in the Northwest area of Altadena. It also discussed possible solutions for curbing the violence surrounding those seedy businesses.
One remedy proposed by a deacon of a Baptist church was street evangelism.
When I read that, I knew where I would be painting en plein air next.
That weekend, I pitched my easel across from one of the liquor stores. A young man stopped to watch me paint. I talked to him about Jesus. He said that he was a Christian, so I asked him where he attended church. He didn’t attend regularly, so I told him that it was important to find a church where he could fellowship with other believers. I invited him to join me at the church I attended, but he gave an excuse for not accepting the invitation
After he went his way, I continued to paint, but something was disturbing me. There was a wide boulevard that separated me from the people going in and out of the liquor store. It was like a great gulf which prevented me from sharing Christ with them.
I decided to do what was necessary to solve the dilemma. I took my easel to another liquor store referred to in the article. I set up with my back literally inches from the front wall of the store. For nearly an hour I painted and shared Jesus with a steady stream of ‘customers’ coming from the liquor store.