Post Office Outreach
My mission took me to the Altadena Post Office. I do outreach for the CIA. Not the Central Intelligence Agency, but the Christians In Action. That’s what we, those who go out to seek the lost, call our group.
I sent teams out to various parts of Pasadena while I took the Altadena Post Office site. I had been two doors down several days earlier at the Dutch bakery for coffee, pastry and a witness for Christ. However, this day I would have to be content with the aroma of fresh baked breads and pastries wafted through the morning air. Not only were the baked goods fresh, but so was the air. ‘Fresh air’ is a relative term in Altadena, a community nestled in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. Twenty years ago, I could walk out of the post office and barely see the outline of the mountains. Thanks to environmental regulations being passed in Southern California, the air is much cleaner. Yet when I think of the fresher air I breathed in the mountains of Brazil, Altadena has a ways to go yet.
15 Minutes of Fame
I pitched my easel in the shade of a small tree growing next to the post office. Once again I painted Ralph’s supermarket, the place where I occasionally get Red Box movie rentals.
It was 10:30 am on a Saturday morning, so the foot traffic was light. Some people carried packages in while others hauled them out. I got curious looks and several smiles, but no stoppers until a man strolled casually up Lake Avenue.
“You paintin’?” he asked. “Yes, come check it out,” I replied. He stepped over and we began to chat. I learned that he was a cousin of a famous singer (aren’t we all?). Not that I doubted him, but here in the entertainment capital of the world (Hollywood), many of us can trace our ancestry to someone who beat the odds and achieved more than 15 minutes of fame; even if it’s just an hour.
Sidetracked by a Distraction
When I turned the conversation toward God, I also learned that he traveled in some of the same circles as I. He knew some of my artist acquaintances. Unfortunately, one of them had skipped out on some money they owed him. That bit of information sucked the spiritual air out of my efforts to share the gospel with him. He did say that he was a Christian, but I didn’t experience the fellowship I’ve had with other believers I’ve met on the streets. Nevertheless, the seed of God’s Word was sown there at the Altadena Post Office.