At MissionFest in Toronto the Christian Farmers of Ontario were handing out walking sticks. When I saw my friend William with one, I realized I wanted one of those sticks for our occasional Sunday afternoon hikes in the Dundas Valley.
I discovered these were no ordinary walking sticks. These were evangelism walking sticks.
Jesus is Lord is printed up the side of the stick and a leather bracelet with coloured beads is threaded through the top of the stick. A small pamphlet explaining how to use to beads to tell the Salvation story accompanies the walking stick.
At MissionFest there were line-ups to get these sticks. On Friday afternoon a number of home school kids got hold of the sticks and found they made lovely swords. People in nearby booths found this very dangerous (a person with a ministry to Muslims, revealed this to me when I stopped at her booth, walking stick in hand).
The man who gave me the stick at the Christian Farmer’s booth made sure I had the pamphlet and had me repeat the beaded Salvation story.
The gold bead represents Heaven. Jesus came from Heaven to earth. The black bead represents sin. I was in a state of sin. The red bead represents the blood of Jesus. He died for my black sin. The white bead represents purity. Jesus’ red blood made me pure, freed me from the black sin. The green bead represents growth (which ties in nicely with Christian Farmers—that’s nowhere in the pamphlet, by-the-way).
On my way home to Hamilton from MissionFest I missed my usual turnoff down the 427 and then I missed the 403 as well (I didn’t see the 427 and I was in the wrong lane to catch the 403), so I simply continued along the 401 to take Highway 6 south to Hamilton, not the most efficient route but it works.
When I got to the 6, I managed to make the turnoff, but for some reason my vehicle ended up in the part of the ramp that went north instead of south. This was okay because I could turn around at a plaza with a sub shop, and a convenience store.
By this time I was feeling a little hungry, so I parked in front of the sub shop and went into the convenience store to buy a chocolate bar. I was only a little hungry.
When I reached into my pocket for the money to give the young man at the cash, I pulled out the pamphlet from the Christian Farmers. Instead of putting this back into my pocket I passed it over to the cashier. I told him I had picked it up at a conference and he could have it.
When I got back to the van, I felt a Holy Spirit nudge to give the stick to the young man as well. So I grabbed the stick and headed back into the store to give it to the young man. I explained the Salvation story using the beads.
He listened carefully, then asked, “I can keep it?”
I don’t know if that young Asian fellow was a Christian, a Muslim or an atheist. I just know I had to give him the stick that proclaimed Jesus as Lord.