While in Las Vegas this past week, I saw the typical advertisements for the stripclubs and topless pools, and the paper ads for call girls. I walked around downtown and saw the men dressed in drag and the prostitutes milling around. I saw the extravagance, the opulence, the glitz of the lights and casinos on the strip.
I saw a lot. But what struck me most was while walking around on the strip, someone came up to me. He was a rapper, had made a cd and was trying to sell it. What made him different was he was a born-again believer, and his cd was a Christian one. It was well over 100 degrees outside, and here he was standing on a crosswalk bridge, cheerfully bringing the word of Jesus Christ over the heart of Sin City. Some of his lyrics even had a repeat cry praying forgivenes and mercy over those in the city. Pure love moves in his heart for those in Las Vegas who have yet to encounter their true Father and Savior.
We saw Jesus in that rapper, but we also saw Jesus in the form of our host at the Hard Rock Cafe. He went out of his way to make things easy for us and the wheelchair, and took time to take pictures with us. It was a small gesture that gave our stay an added bonus (we stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel for the week). When we thanked him, he simply pointed skywards and said “don’t thank me. He does all that. I’m just the messenger.” From there, we chatted a bit. I was touched by how approachable he was when mentioning God. He wasn’t asserting his beliefs, he wasn’t preaching or going into rules….he simply took the blessing that he’d given us, and credited God for giving it. It was simple, basic, and yet powerful testimony.
It hit me again how it doesn’t matter what station we’re at in life, where we are or what we’re doing in order for God to be present in our daily lives. We don’t need to wait for the perfect moment or for someone to seek us out with questions about salvation. Jesus is everywhere, even in the most casual of conversations. I pray today for the heart to be as attuned to Him as our host was, that I would be a witness just by mentioning His name and crediting Him with all that I have.
I am still praying for this city and those in it. But Jesus is definitely moving there. And here’s a side note: we started our drive home today, and went from Las Vegas to Grand Junction, CO. We got off to a late start and were looking at a pretty late arrival. Usually we end up making many stops en route, but today the miles and hours flew by. As it started getting dark, the road started getting much more mountainous with tighter turns. As it got very dark, the land opened up again. I had mentioned a few times during the drive how blessed we were to be in the middle of such a beautiful and majestic landscape, but even I was surprised when out of the blue my roommate said to me, “you know, it’s not coincidence that we got through the mountains before dark really hit. God’s been guiding this trip and keeping us protected”. If any of you have been following spiritual journey in New York and specifically in my house with my roommate, you know that I have been praying for his spiritual growth and for God to move in His heart, take His place at the center of it, and just expand it exponentially. And here he is crediting Jesus for something that could be taken as circumstantial, with no prompting whatsoever. YESSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!! Praise to Jesus who hears and answers and loves to love us into growth.