One Morning On Miller Street

The hot August air sat heavy on the street, as though too tired to stir.   Brooklyn, East New York, with few trees, just ripples in asphalt.  The window fans whirred.  Mama’s sat on fire escapes dabbing their forehead, watching children scurry after bubbles. I was here with Joy, a college sophomore from Minnesota, who was…

The Little Girl With Generous Eyes

The little girl with generous eyes and small teeth set in a wide smile, drifted from one side of the parade to the other. She offered a small pamphlet to everyone watching the parade, an invitation to a pageant at the African Methodist congregation. Courageous young spirit, I thought to myself. The marching bands, floats…

Climb the Stairwell

Back in the 90’s we would take our new staff into East New York, Brooklyn, for their first brush with evangelism. It never failed that the beat cops would stop our group, point to the subway and say, “leave! It’s too dangerous for you here.” We didn’t. We had an affiliate, Willie Branch, who ran…

When God Breaks In…

He was a doctor of internal medicine, and his words were a jaded iceberg, admittedly desensitized by the dying he sees every day. “There are no miracles for someone in stage four cancer… at least I’ve never seen one,” he said. “My mom passed away about eight years ago. She was only 55, and at…

Where Love Grows

I’m old enough to be his father. He just turned 30, and will soon be a father of four. We come from two very different places, rural and city, yet we have found a common crazy; we love teens enough, to go to the hard places to reach them. We met when he volunteered at a…

A Young Scientist Meets an Old Saint

I met him on a recent flight, and our light banter soon turned more serious. “Having a more rationale mind, how do you see faith in God playing a part?” I asked. “Not at all,” he confided. “If I can’t prove it, I don’t believe it.” Sebastian is a recent high school graduate, and one…

The Room With No Windows

The room had no windows. Easier to keep little eyes focused. When the door closed, a smiling face greeted me. Inside, I felt the weight of pending failure. I could not hide my frown. For as long as I remember, I have found it hard to bring words out of my mind into the open….

It’s Time to Re-Enlist!

“Someone pushed her!” The doors to the subway car had just opened. People were screaming, running, and staring wildly under the train. I paused in the midst of it all, not sure why, but then started to talk with a young man. “I was standing right here, and someone pushed her,” he said. He was…

The Eyes of a Stranger on an Uptown Train

I settled into a copy of the sports page of the Daily News, plucked from an empty seat. At Fulton I looked up when I heard a gasp, and saw a man entering the subway car, the people around him stepping back and away, their eyes held wide like a shutter, peering at a dark…

Two Letters And A Greasy Burger Bag

It was early morning, July 17th 1978. I had just been told by a state police officer to get off the interstate. No hitch hiking allowed. Out of options, I walked a mile on a service road, hopped the fence, and stood on the gravel berm holding out my thumb. I had never prayed in…

The Myterious Power of Secrets

You didn’t ask, but I’m going to tell. “I build relationships through evangelism, rather than for evangelism. Am I saying that I take the first opportunity to share Christ with perfect strangers? Yes, most of the time. Does it feel awkward at first, like I’m about to fall off a cliff? Almost, every time. What…

Going Fishing With Dad

People tell me I have a gift for evangelism. I’m not so sure, being an introvert and all, but I do know how much I love it, and want to stay bold doing it. For me it’s about watching God open eyes, and seeing His power overcome the most stubborn heart. It reminds me how…