In many big cities the streets are always full of people. People coming and going, from all sorts of countries – they’re tourists, immigrants, ex-change students, business men…In such cities as these it is also common to find artists in the streets – clowns that make the passers-by laugh or musicians that attract listeners with their beautiful melodies. In the centre of Madrid, in Sol, one can also find a group of people and a red box. When I saw them for the first time, there was a girl standing on the box and a bunch of people in a half-circle listening to her. Curious, I went closer to hear what she was saying and was surprised to find her speaking about Jesus! At first I wasn’t sure what to make of them…I mentally stuck them in a category of “Other Christians with outdated methods” and felt it was cool that they were there, but their style just wasn’t for me…Funny thing is that I passed by them almost every day going home after classes. I found myself stopping again and again – it was like my feet were being led in their direction…and then glued to the ground. Eventually I got to know some of them and found out that they were there six days a week and also had a prayer room and a small café right there in Sol! I liked that idea and as I visited the café and prayer room the whole thing seemed to grow on me…And last Friday, I did what I never thought I would do – I stood upon that red box myself to tell people about why I love Jesus and what he has done in my life! It was completely spontaneous – I had been in the prayer room and wondering what I would do if I walked outside and was asked to share my testimony…and that’s exactly what happened. I don’t usually mind talking in front of people – I may get a bit nervous and start speaking even faster…but when I agreed to get on that box, I got SO nervous I was shaking all over and couldn’t keep my voice steady! But someone there started talking with me, encouraging me and the distraction helped to calm me. And in the end I figured – its just a red box and God is with me so what’s the big deal?
Talking with people about what we do I’ve often been asked why and have heard things like:
- that’s the priests’ job
- why are you telling me what to believe? Everyone chooses their own way to go
- you can believe what you like, let me do the same
- are your fliers propaganda for something?
- Religion is a business. It’s just about money and power.
I say its tricky being a Christian – tricky because there are so many people who call themselves Christians and talk about loving God and their neighbour, but in the end misuse their authority for personal gain and cause a lot of harm in other people’s lives.
But for me, being a Christian is about God’s love. And my love for Jesus. I don’t go out on the streets to win anyone for a particular church, to make people donate money or to do what I say – I just want to share the best thing that ever happened to me in the hope they will experience it too! How I met Jesus. How I realized that I was not good enough to go to heaven, that I deserved to be punished because even though I had never killed anyone or robbed a bank – I had lied, I had gotten angry and said nasty words and lots of other things that made me guilty before God. God is perfect and could not let me in his presence with all my guilt. None of my good deeds could tip the scale in my favour. But the good news is – that God so loved the world, every single person, that he sent his one and only son Jesus Christ to take the punishment I and every other person deserve, by dying on the cross without ever having done anything wrong. I asked God for forgiveness and told him I wanted to accept what Jesus did for me, that I wanted to be saved from the life of sin and instead live a life that pleased God – and have eternal life in heaven. And that’s what it’s about! That’s why there are people in the centre of Madrid six days a week telling others why they love Jesus! They don’t stand on a red box for the fun of it or to annoy the people passing by!
So I stood on that box for the first time on Friday. My knees where shaking and I was so nervous I wondered if I would be able to speak at all! But I wanted to do it. I wanted to do it because I am overwhelmed by God’s love for me! Because I am overwhelmed by what Jesus did for me! Because I am excited to think of spending eternity in heaven and I want as many people as possible to be there with me! Hope to see you there! =)