Back in November, I was entering s local supermarket and there was a man working for the Salvation Army, ringing the bell next to the donation bin. So I said hello and on my way out, I gave him some money. “I’m Jerome, what’s your name?” “I’m James.” We got to talking and we began to share about spiritual things, about the good things of God and His salvation, and the challenges of being a disciple of Jesus Christ. We were talking about getting back up, the challenges of temptation, and the Lord’s mercy.
So, at some point, I mentioned what God had done for me, how I had been addicted to internet pornography, and that the Lord had taken me out of it, by His grace. I mean, I just left it, and now I use the computer without ever a temptation – what a gift of His mercy!
His look changed – he eyes widened and his voice softened. He began to explain to me that he was struggling with the very same thing, that the night before he had fallen, and he had such a feeling of guilt and all this weight, and so on. I tried to encourage him, and said, “James, God doesn’t want successes and heroes. He wants sinners and failures.” I ended up giving him a little pep talk.
Afterwards, he said, “You know, just when I was really, really struggling with what I did last night, you come along and give your testimony, and that was just what I needed. You were sent by God.”
We had talked for over an hour before I left to finish my errands.
Well, two weeks ago, I stopped by the supermarket again. As I was approaching, James saw me, and a big smile spread over his face. “Jerome!”
“You know, that day, with you sharing your testimony, I can’t tell you what God has done for me. I haven’t had any of those problems since. And you know what, I meet people all day here, 5 days a week , for the past 4 weeks, and … I don’t remember anyone’s name.
You are the only name I remember.”
Tears flowed from his eyes.
What did I do? How was this man so touched and changed?
The Divine Mercy and my little witness.
St. Paul is a name that is still remembered by the world today. Paul was stuck in a very bad habit – imprisoning and torturing men and women out of religious self-righteousness – until the Lord Jesus touched him so powerfully with His Mercy that his whole life turned upside down. After that, he ended up traveling all over the known world and bringing about so many healings and conversions that he became a co-founding pillar of the Church with Peter.
Paul was a general in the Lord’s Salvation Army.
But really, there was only one thing that Paul did after his famous conversion. Do you know what it is? The only thing he ever did was give witness to Jesus Christ and what he had done for him. “For you will be a witness for him to all men of what you have seen and heard.” (Acts 22:15)
To enlist in the Lord’s Salvation Army, we only need to do one thing:
Give our personal witness to His Mercy.
Then, like Paul, our names will be remembered too.
“And those who turn many to righteousness [shall shine] like the stars for ever and ever.” (Dan 12:3)