I pitched my easel to paint en plein air at a gas station across from the car wash in Pasadena, CA. My subject would be the car wash across the street. The gas station was the site where I had a verbal altercation a few months earlier with a young man (instigated by his girlfriend) which could have led to a violent end.
Thank God, nothing more than some harsh words were exchanged.
Taking Back the Territory
Since the devil tried to put me in a deadly situation at the gas station, I figured this would be a good place to return with the life-giving gospel. I went back to the same place to paint and preach Jesus to curious onlookers.
My first visitor said he believed in the metaphysical. It was obvious from talking to him that he had done a lot of black liberation reading. When he mentioned a blond-hair-blue-eyed Jesus, I told him that was not the Jesus I knew. It didn’t seem that I was getting through to him until he mentioned a scripture from the book of Psalm which he said supported his position. When he began using scripture, I knew I had him.
Take It or Leave It
“Ah!,” I said playfully. “You believe the Bible? How do you decide which ones to believe and not believe? Do you believe the scriptures in the old testament where God talks about His Son? (see Proverbs 30:4) He didn’t have an answer, so he walked away.
I next met a man dressed in a suit and wearing black rimmed glasses. He looked like a nerd. He seemed to be nervous and depressed. I told him about the faithfulness of Jesus, then I asked him if I could pray for him. I think he was taken aback when I told him that I wanted to pray for him now, nevertheless, he said yes. He bowed his head as I prayed for his job, his health, but especially for his relationship with Jesus.
My final visitor was a street hustler. The shirtless and very muscular young man passed behind me several times before coming over to see what I was doing. When I handed him the ‘Talent Search‘ tract and began to talk to him about Jesus, I found him to be articulate with some knowledge of the scriptures. I continued to feed him the Word until a car pulled up beside him. He quickly got into the back seat of the car and was whisked away. As he was leaving, he hollered out the window, “I’ll be back”. I hollered back, “I’ll be leaving soon”. I completed my painting. Mr. muscles had not returned, so I left the area.