Monday, July 21, 2008

Accidentally Obedient

Usually I'm a bit quiet among people I don't know, and, well, sometimes I'm quiet among people I do know, so obeying Jesus' command to let the world know about him has always been rather difficult for me to obey on a personal level. I'm okay with supporting missionaries financially and things like that, but personally talking to people about Christ ("witnessing," in Christian jargon) has always been very difficult for me.

But over the past few years I've discovered - accidentally - that it can be done without any difficulty at all. So I thought I'd pass along what I've learned for other Christians who are on the shy side.

Fortunately, in addition to being a bit shy, in some ways I'm also boringly predictable. I wake up early and go out to a coffee shop (the same one all the time) to have a cup of coffee, read my Bible, pray, and plan my day. I don't approach anyone or really attempt any conversation, though I try to smile at people who walk by.

Well, it turns out that other people are also creatures of habit, and a lot of them come to the same coffee shop every day at the same time. So after months and even years of just being there you get to know people by face, and eventually somebody is bound to come up to you and say something like, "Can I use this chair?" and I say "Sure!" But one way or another, you slowly get to know people.

And people see you reading your Bible, and when they know you a little bit they comment on that and you can respond. I've had spiritual conversations with several people and got one guy a Bible by just - basically - sitting there minding my own business.

And, of course, occasionally Christians will see you with your Bible and will say hello and sometimes share something from their own lives. I've prayed with people who have endured some deep pains (one woman lost her husband in a traffic accident and another was in real financial trouble).

But my point is that it all came about by just quietly sitting and reading my Bible. But - and here's the secret - doing it for a loooong time.

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