“Hi, my name is Anh,” I said with a smile. “I'm with Generation of Youth for Christ.”
“Hail Satan,” the man replied.
“Excuse me?” I said, not understanding.
“Hail Satan,” he said. “I'm a Satanist.”
I didn't skip a beat.
“Okay,” I said. “Would you like a Bible study?”
The self-proclaimed Satanist then directed an expletive at me.
In times past I would have gotten indignant and angry. But hours earlier I had prayed that I would be able to impart Christ's love to all I met. Looking upon this man, a lost sheep that needed to return to the Master's fold I felt nothing but concern and pity for him.
“May I pray for you?” I gently said.
Again he hurled an angry expletive at me.
“May I leave you this tract?” I said, holding forth literature on God's love.
He responded with a third expletive, nearly getting his spittle on me.
“Have a good day,” I said tenderly.
The man swore and cursed me before saying, “Get off my lawn!”
I walked away and he continued swearing at me. At no time was I anything other than calm. I really felt sorry for the man and I didn't get angry. I know it was God helping me see the man the way heaven does.
A friend later told me that she had a similar experience with her brother who was an avowed atheist. She said that Satan often stirs up anger in those who have taken a stand against God when they are given an opportunity to receive light, love and truth.
Despite that experience with the so-called Satanist my partner and I got three people signed up for Bible studies and prayed with several others who accepted religious tracts. It was an immense blessing for everyone involved.
Someone recently showed me 1 Corinthians 13:4 “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant.” I know that if I had reacted to that man in any other way than love it would have been a poor reflection on Christ. I don't want to take His name in vain by being a poor ambassador for God.
Here is wise counsel from Desire of Ages pages 441 and 442, respectively:
“We ourselves are erring and need Christ's pity and forgiveness, and just as we wish Him to deal with us, He bids us deal with one another...You are acting as the ambassadors of heaven, and the issues of your work are for eternity.”