Every first Friday of the month, Phoenix holds an event called “First Fridays” throughout the downtown area. First Fridays is essentially an art walk that the local galleries, music shops, and restaurants participate in. The event is a great way to get to know the artsy, downtown culture.
Although I’ve gone many times and browsed many galleries, last Friday, my plans were a bit different. A couple of friends mine invited me to walk through First Fridays with them and share the Gospel. The thought terrified me. All I could picture were the people standing on boxes with signs and microphones, yelling as others walked past, shouting nasty things in return. Thankfully, that is not what they had in mind.
Our goal on Friday night was to let the people of Phoenix know that they are loved by a gracious and merciful God. After prayer and encouragement within the group, our night began.
I went into the night assuming I wouldn’t be courageous enough to have a conversation with a complete stranger about the good news, but when you’re in a relationship as remarkable as this, it’s difficult not to let that love carry over and pour into the hearts of others.
I met a young, single mother who has been going through difficult times raising her toddler alone. I could see the worry in her eyes – clear as day. I listened to her story, made conversation, and then told her I would be happy to pray for her. Suddenly, God took over, speaking words of encouragement and comfort through me, to this young mother. I prayed for her as she wept. I sensed her frustrations, worries and burdens being lifted by God. Promising I would keep her in my prayers, we left one another with a hug.
The love of God has the most incredible impact on lives, and being able to share that with a wonderful young woman who was in need of encouragement that night, was something I will never forget. God is good. So, so good.
“He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.'” Mark 16:15