Courage to Ask

A true story that I shared a few years ago. He was a pick-pocket, and worked mainly in Hyde Park, London. Each day he would stroll through the park looking for an opportunity to steal from someone.

His hands were well experienced at removing the contents of pockets and bags and slipping what ever he found into his own pocket or bag. Every so often he would return to his rented room and throw all he had taken into a draw, and then go out for more pickings. At the end of the day after a meal he would take the contents of the draw and sort things into little heaps according to the value of what he thought he could make on each item.

One day he looked at a little book he had stolen; it didn’t seem to have any value at all, it was a pocket size New Testament, he threw it against the wall in disgust, and worked on the other things. During the night, unknown to him the little book slipped down between the wall and the bed.

The next day the landlady came in as usual to make up his bed and clean the room. She found the New Testament and put it on the table by his bed. At night the man saw it and after a quick look at it he threw it across the room as worthless. The landlady found it again the next day and again put it on the table.

Just as the pickpocket was about to get into bed he saw the little book again.

“This is the third time this xxx =book has come back “he said out loud, “ I wonder if it is worth something after all”. The local church clock was striking eleven as he sat on the bed and started to read it. It was gone four am when he suddenly realized he was bitter cold, but feeling strange over what the New Testament had told him.

He pulled the blankets over himself and started to think. “There IS a God” he thought. “And this Jesus must be real”. “And these are real promises He makes”.“All this is either Right, or Wrong, and I am going to find which”. He got out of the bed where he was sitting thinking, and knelt down..

“Jesus ! If you are real, and it is true that You care for me, Then I tell You now I am what this book calls a sinner, a no good. “If you ARE there, Come and change me, give me a new start”.

I cannot tell you just how it happened after that. He says that he has never picked pockets since that night. I think he met someone in the park who became a friend, who helped him to live for Jesus. He got an honest job, and the last I heard he was very happily married, and a wonderfully changed man, walking with Jesus.

Jesus is reaching out to thousands all over the world, and I have witnessed many who have come to believe in Him and been changed. Time is short, “Call on Him while He is near”.

May God Bless You. Gerald Gossage.

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