My family took a friend out to dinner a few weeks ago and I noticed that our waitress had a small semicolon tattooed on her wrist. I immediately remembered the above statement and my mind started racing. I wonder what made her choose to live? Did she have a problem with self-harm or suicide in the past? Was it a family member? Is this even related to suicide, or does she just like to write? I want to know her story and the reason behind this semicolon. Then a yearning that wouldn’t cease, and a burden for this girl pressed on my heart. This girl needed to know about Jesus, the Healer of hearts and Maker of all things new. To me, that little semicolon seemed like a sign from God to reach out to her. Maybe that sounds crazy to you, but I did. Right before she left our table with the restaurant’s copy of our receipt, I gave our waitress a tract that said, “God cares for you.” I told her, “I noticed your tattoo and I wanted to give you this; God bless you!”
She smiled, thanked me, and left with our bill.
That was it. I know, it was short; But that short moment has been on my mind. I’ve been praying for opportunities to reach out to strangers and share the Gospel with them. This encounter has been the second opportunity that I’ve had so far. It seemed so clear-clear enough that I was telling myself, “Ruth, you have to say something! You can’t ignore it.” She needed to hear about how much God loves her and cares about her, regardless of her past or present. God could change her future!
Imagine you discovered the cure for cancer. Instead of sharing this valuable, longed-for information, you kept it to yourself and let people suffer and die. We have the key to salvation, to eternal life, and to true peace by faith in the blood of Jesus Christ! How can we withhold that from those who are in bondage to sin?
I believe with my whole heart that God placed my family in that restaurant with that particular waitress so that I could share just a tiny fragment of the Gospel with her. Whether she herself was struggling with self-harm or suicide, someone dear to her heart was struggling with the same, or maybe she just really loves to write, she needed to hear about Jesus. She needed to hear that God cares for her. Whether she kept that tract, or decided to throw it away, I believe that God’s Word doesn’t return void. It will accomplish what it was supposed to. I’ve been praying that she finds hope in God and she comes to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. If she has, I hope she will pass that tract along to someone else who needs to know that God cares for them.
“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.” 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17