By Tad Cooper, who serves with InFaith in California
When it comes to sharing the gospel with people I encounter, I struggle with when to share and when to wait. All too often I err on the side of waiting.
Not long ago when I was traveling, I neared the highway that I needed to take and saw a car in the center divide. I quickly assessed the situation and determined that two women and a little baby were stranded. Having four daughters, I rarely drive past such a situation if there is any way that I can safely get over to help.
The left rear tire had badly separated, and the young mom was trying to jack the car up. The baby and his grandma were positioned behind the car, a location that was far from safe for them. The mom had the jack in the proper place, but had no handle to raise it. I found a screwdriver in the car that I had borrowed from my parents, and the mom began to use it to crank the jack.
As we worked on the car, we talked. Mom and Grandma shared that the baby had just spent three days in the hospital and they were taking him back home. I told them that I am a pastor and was very glad to be able to help them.
I helped the family reposition the car and get the spare tire on. Before we drove off, I asked if I could pray for them. I prayed that God would see them safely home and that He would completely heal the baby. When I finished praying, the grandma had tears in her eyes. I should have shared a two-minute presentation of the gospel right then, but I waited. I told them that I would follow them to the nearest gas station so that we could air up the spare. As we drove off, I purposed in my heart to share the gospel at the gas station.
We were on a country highway, and the nearest gas station was more than ten miles away. As I drove, the GPS kept squawking that I was going the wrong way. What it didn’t know is that the only wrong turn I made was when I chose to wait to share God’s Good News.
Thankfully, the family’s car made it safely to the station. As we pulled up, it seemed as though the whole town was at that gas station. We pulled up to the air compressor, and I started pumping up the spare tire. Just then, the baby’s dad arrived to escort his family the rest of the way home. The mom introduced us, all of them thanked me, and I left – I sensed it would have been inappropriate for me to stay any longer.
Because I waited to share the gospel, I never got to share it. I didn’t even have a business card that I could hand them. I helped them with their physical needs but not their spiritual needs. I waited when I could have shared. I wish I had shared and not waited.