By Deborah Mallory
I was sitting at the bus stop a few days ago when a very sweet elderly lady of 82 began boldly preaching the Gospel, telling me about Jesus.
Her words expressed soooo much love for Him as she talked about everyone’s need for a repentant heart, this country’s need to turn back to God, the kids’ need to have prayer back in schools, and how Jesus shed His precious blood for us and freely offers us the gift of salvation.
She told me how she came from Cuba and her husband from Guangzhou, China. How her life had changed when she found Jesus and how in those countries, they were horribly mistreated and persecuted for their faith.
In her homeland she went the second mile in her witness, and so she did here at the bus stop.
She said we all need Jesus as Our Lord and Savior, that we are nothing without Him. We agreed, as two gathered together in Him. She was singing to me in other tongues. It was beautiful. We boarded the bus together, but I got off before her at the hospital to visit my son.
“God bless you, sister,” she said as I left. “I will see you again one day,” and I told her the same.
“Were you a party to that?” said a middle-aged man who exited the bus with me.
“Yes!” I said, following the elderly lady’s lead.
“Well, I just wanted her to be quiet,” he said. “I don’t like people preaching in my face, and it don’t get no worse than living here.”
“Oh, but it can,” I told him. “That’s why she’s right. Jesus is coming soon, and we all need Him. We do need to repent.”
As he walked away from me, I called: “God bless you! It’s your choice!”
He ignored me, and my heart ached for him. Then it occurred to me that what I felt was but a small sample of the hurt that Jesus and the disciples experienced when their message was repeatedly rejected. As they were persecuted for unpretentiously sharing with others the love that God demonstrated to them.
“Lord,” I said, “Please touch that man and protect that sweet lady as she goes on her way, going the second mile and preaching the Gospel.”
In Matthew 5:41, Jesus said if someone compels us to go one mile with them, go with them two. Going the first mile is what is required of us: going the second mile for someone means we will need strength beyond our own.
For Jesus, we choose to go above and beyond what He requires of us.
As the elderly lady and I both chose the second mile, little did we know that we were walking it for the sake of that man.
We are God’s trophies of grace – imagine that! Our lives are on display as a witness for the Lord. He sanctifies us and shows us his divine favor and love, even though we are undeserving of it.
Grace is a gift from the Lord: we can do nothing to earn it. He loves us and desires for us to have all of His wonderful gifts. Then he puts them on display through us. We become trophies of grace by allowing His Spirit to give us the strength to obey His commands, to set His example, to live an increasingly Christian life, to love and forgive one another and our enemies.
As Jesus said in Matthew 5:48, as we do good to those that hate us, bless those that curse us, pray for those who despitefully use us and persecute us, we exhibit our desire to become mature sons of our Father in Heaven.
One perfect example of the second mile is demonstrated when the disciples left all that they had and followed Jesus on His missionary trips to spread the Gospel. Their lives were conspicuous demonstrations of God’s grace, clearly visible.
Believers must pray and seek God and His will as we pursue our desire to fulfill His plan for us. We must always ask Him to use us mightily for His purpose.
Lord, please give each of us that natural boldness to witness as that lady on the bus did. That we, too, may go the second mile for the souls all around us, and that we may become Your trophies of grace. In these last days, may we become Second Mile Saints, presenting the light of the Gospel to others in a world that is growing darker and darker before His return.
I challenge each of you to join me in striving at all times to go that second mile for the Lord until He comes, or until He calls us home.