We gave out a lot of water while we were in New York City. Which was good, because it was hot in New York. Not as hot as it was back home, but we weren’t at home. We were in New York City, and we wanted to reach people and touch lives. So we gave out water.
There’s something about the word “free.” People who didn’t want to have anything to do with us were suddenly interested in what we had to offer when we told them it was free. (Although some people were still wary that we were trying to drug or poison them.) “Free” opened people up to us. They were more willing to listen, and more willing to talk once they knew the cost was not coming out of their pockets.
Business and organizations do this. They offer giveaways and free items in the hopes that as people get closer to them they see something for which they’re willing to pay or invest. By offering something with no strings attached, we allowed the people we met the opportunity to look at little closer at who we were and what we were doing. “Free” gave people a glimpse of our hearts, and the opportunity to open up their hearts with us a little. We gave them water for free. We talked with them, and in some cases were able to pray with them, for free. All they had to do was accept what we offered them. It worked with water, but it can also work with time, with encouragement, and with other things.
What can you offer that pulls people close enough to see your heart — and gives them a chance to let you see theirs? What can you give for “free?”