A few years ago, I fell asleep on a public bus and awoke to find a large man sitting next to me attempting to steal my phone. I grabbed it back from him and said loudly, “What are you doing, man? This is wrong. What are you thinking?”
Everyone turned around to see what was going on.
I continued, “You are not right with God, man.” And then I asked him, “If you died today where would you spend eternity?”
For the next 15 minutes, he and everyone else in the back of the bus listened as I witnessed to him. I explained the nature of our sin and how we are separated from God apart from Christ. I went into the perfect sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf and told him that God has offered us forgiveness and eternal life, but we must turn from our sin and place our faith and trust in Christ. It was such a perfect opportunity for the Gospel!
At the end of our conversation, he put his head down, visibly convicted, and slowly reached into his backpack and pulled out my cell phone charger that he had taken without my knowledge. Then he reached down again and pulled out my pack of gum (half the pieces were gone!) and made this memorable statement to me,
“Josh, I wish we could have met and talked under different circumstances. I am really sorry. I know God allowed me to steal from you for a reason!”
Love triumphs over wrong. I told him I loved him and gave him a tract booklet, and then it was my stop to get off!
That was one bus ride I will never forget!