"All the way up," Roy replied, grasping the opportunity for conversation with a stranger. "All the way up and straight into heaven."
Though Roy shared his evangelism story with me decades ago and today is indeed all the way up and into heaven, his example continues to provide encouragement, prodding me on to love and good works in every elevator I enter.
"Are you going down?" the man asked me as the elevator door closed.
I nodded. "On this elevator I am going down to the hospital lobby. In my life, I'm going up. All the way up and straight into heaven."
"How do you know?" he asked, rubbing a feeble trembling hand over his scruffy beard. His dirty wrinkled clothes and posture spoke volumes of his fatigue, loss and discouragement. He couldn't accept my invitation to breakfast, but we did have a chance for encouragement and a short visit.
This morning I saw that man in my neighborhood and asked him about his life and his struggles with addiction. He remembered me, but more importantly he remembered my assurances that God is real, the Bible is true and Jesus is alive.
He took a long drink of coffee and chuckled. "You told me the elevator of life keeps going up as well as down and I can change my direction at any time. You told me I didn't need to ride it all the way until I hit bottom. It was a kindness to an old drunk."
Then he laughed out loud and strong. "And I ain't just an old drunk any more. And I speak up about where I'm headed every time I'm on an elevator. Now, girl. Do YOU have time for breakfast?"
Best slice of toast I ever had.