I caught the Gold Line train from Pasadena to Union Station in Los Angeles, then transferred to the Red Line headed for Hollywood. I got off on Hollywood Blvd. and Highland, where I began my first painting at 8:50 AM.
I pitched my easel in front of what appeared to be an abandoned hole-in-the-wall shop with rusty, corrugated metal covering its windows and door. However, no sooner had I begun sketching when a man and woman arrived and began the arduous task of making the place ready for business. They took locks off of the window coverings, then pulled on chains to raise them into the overhead cylinders. The man swung open the metal door, entered, then brought out brightly painted signs: ATM Inside, Collectables, Discount Cigarettes and a sandwich sign whose meat was a palm tree planted in the same concrete as the stars on the Walk of Fame. the red letters on yellow background announced that this establishment had exclusive maps of the stars homes.
I moved my rig a couple of feet to the corner of the property and continued my artwork. The couple watched me curiously as they went about their work, but said nothing. I would have been eyed with not just curiosity, but suspicion in many other business districts, but this was Hollywood. These people here have seen just about everything.
My first visitor was a retired postal worker. He was happy to hear about Jesus, as he was a believer. We chatted for a while and then he said he knew a good joke. He prefaced it by saying, “I don’t know if I should tell you this…” I thought to myself, “Then maybe you shouldn’t.” As he began telling the joke, I prepared to stop him. Fortunately, I didn’t have to. It wasn’t raunchy, just whacky. We had a good laugh, then he went on his way.
I had other onlookers, but the ones for whom God had sent me to on that busy street were Art and Adam. Art was small wiry young man with a tough street-wise demeanor. Adam was a brown-skin young man with muscles bulging out of his sleeveless tee-shirt.
I skipped the small talk and, using the ‘Talent Search’ tract as a launching pad’, began talking to them about Jesus. Art was convinced that the two of them were lost and hopeless causes. Adam, though not as fatalistic about their plight, but could not see how he could possibly live a Godly life in such a wicked world.
I assured him that it was indeed impossible to live a Godly life without the help of Christ. I told him that even if he cold live a good, upright, moral life, but reject Jesus; his eternal destiny would not fare much better than the unrepentant street junkies and high-rise corporate criminals.
I went on to tell Art and Adam of God’s unqualified love for them. Adam’s heart softened as I shared Christ with them.
When it came time to extend an invitation to them to invite Jesus into their lives, Adam said, “Yes, I would like to do that.” Art said, “That’s ok for him, but it will never work for me.”
I explained to Art that Adam was going to walk away with eternal life residing in him, that his destiny was going to be sealed for good; for his good. “You, on the other hand Art, are making a choice to walk away holding tight to eternal death by rejecting Jesus. Your destiny is as simple as your decision,” I said.
Art thought about it for a moment then said, “If he (Adam) does it, then I will.”
“You can’t give your heart to Christ for Adam’s sake,” I replied. “You must do it for yourself.”
Art looked earnestly into my eyes and said, “I’m ready.”