Ministry at Central Park

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When we hear the name, Central Park, most people familiar with cities in America will think of the expansive park in New York City. However, there are likely many ‘central parks’ in towns and communities across the nation.

This day, I pitched my easel in Central Park in Pasadena, California. It’s one of my favorite places to paint in the City of Roses. An icon of the city is the Green Hotel, which I’ve painted numerous times. My subject today was a complex that housed condos and whose lower level was reserved for a Gold Line rail station.

As Seen Through God’s Eyes

It was late in the afternoon when I arrived, so I had to work extra fast before the sun went down. As with many parks, Central Park is a place where street people and the homeless congregate. I had the opportunity to minister to two of them. One was a lady. She was a Christian and talked about how good God had been to her. She was living in a shelter several blocks from this location. Someone (not you) might ask, ‘If a person is homeless, or even living in a shelter, how can they testify to the goodness of God?’ Let’s let the Bible answer that question: Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses. Luke 12:15 Also: For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” I Samuel 15:5

The lady’s companion did not seem to be certain with his relationship with God, so I spent time with him by sharing the contents of the Talent Search tract I had given him.

Eventually the couple went on their way, and I was joined in Central Park by a young lady who said she was taking art classes at Pasadena City College. I told her I had an extra paint kit with me and she was welcome to join me painting. She said she had her own supplies, then produced a sketch book. She sat on the grass and began to sketch, but almost immediately she got a phone call. She said it was her father and had to leave. She looked at it and said that she had planned to visit different churches. I invited her to the one I attended. She said she would. Then I said, “You don’t have to wait to attend a church to start a relationship with God.” I began to explain God’s plan of salvation through Jesus. I think that freaked her out because she almost ran from my presence. That whole situation with her seemed a little weird.

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