Updated: Oct 10, 2019
In June of 2012, we were visiting down town Salt Lake City, Utah. I passed by a disheveled man, who was accosting every single person coming out of the LDS church historical building. Once inside the building myself, I realized I'd left my toddler's shoes in the car. I left the kids with my husband and went back to get them. As I walked out, the man saw me and headed straight towards me. His pants were dirty, stained and torn denim. His shirt, a striped polo was the only thing presentable. He was smoking a cigarette, under a ragged baseball cap. I mentioned his looks only because at first glance one would think he is; a vagrant, an alcoholic or perhaps on drugs. People were trying to avoid him like the plague as he was railing on them about their beliefs, and about what Jesus "really wanted". It was clear that he was a Christian trying to save the Mormons (while smoking a cigarette in their face). 🤢 He locked eyes with me. He came right up and instead of looking away I felt something different. I felt like I should look him directly in the eyes and give a gentle smile, so I did. He began to ask me if I was a Christian. I told him, "yes". I didn't stop walking so he started walking with me. He said, "All I want to do is talk to people about Christ and no one will listen to me!" And I don't know what came over me, but I said very OVERLY honestly, "Well, they are probably afraid to talk about that with a total stranger, they're worried they could get mugged or something." He went on walking with me telling me that he was an honest, good man and he just wanted to talk to people about Christ, and then he looked me in the eyes again and said, "YOU KNOW? YOU HAVE EPHESIANS 6 ON YOU." He asked if I knew what that was, and I said yes. (My own pride wasn't about to admit I wasn't sure what concept he was referring too.) Then he proceeded to talk about the armor of God. I almost face palmed that I didn't catch on but of course now, I will NEVER forget. As I reached the car, I was worried because I had also seen him earlier ask people for money. Oh no here it comes, I thought ....but he didn't ask me for anything he just thanked me and then walked away. For some reason that day he felt to be nice to me over all those poor other people. I learned a gospel lesson from such an unlikely person that day. I learned a gospel lesson from such an unlikely person! My heart swelled in that moment with thanks for the Holy Ghost (my sword) and this gospel (my shield). I was so thankful for this amicable exchange. It reminded me to look beyond exteriors and always be my very best Christian self.
Before I unlocked the car I snapped this picture to remind me of this day and how I would NEVER forget to wear Ephesians 6!
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;