In Evangelism, Climb Out of the Boat . . .

Rick Mattson Evangelism Leave a Comment

In my prior post I suggested that when it comes to the business of evangelism, we Christians don’t “bring Jesus” to others. We’re not salespeople.

Rather, we’re detectives, investigators. Our job is to discern what God is already doing in the lives of those around us, then get involved.

But how? How do we participate in this work of God?

Answer: Take a risk. Rarely do spiritual conversations land conveniently in our laps. At least, not in mine.

To illustrate, I hopped an Uber cab recently at a ridiculous morning hour. Unable to utter a coherent sentence, I merely grunted from the backseat, “Airport, please. Terminal 1.”

I didn’t feel like talking. The driver was a polite, neatly trimmed male of foreign origin, mid-twenties.

I forced myself to ask how long he’d been Ubering it around town.

Sound waves floated from the front seat of the Prius: “About seven months.”

“You work mornings?” I was incredulous (who would voluntarily work mornings?).

“4am till 11am. It’s the best time of day.” He smiled.

I was stumped. “Best time . . . Why?”

Fewer problems than at night. The riders are, well, more clean.”

I perked up. The kid was revealing something of his values.

Risk #1: Time to get more personal. I’d seen his name on the Uber app but couldn’t pronounce it, so I inquired.

In reply, half the alphabet poured from his mouth before he bailed me out by providing a nickname: Wali.

“Wali,” I repeated. “May I ask what nationality?”

He named a country.

Still in my coma, I nevertheless had wits enough to sense God opening a door.

Time for risk #2. Might as well go deeper. I had nothing to lose.

“Do you go to mosque?” I ventured, genuinely curious.

I was stepping out of the boat, walking on water. Or maybe I was sinking. Wali might take my question as a weird non sequitur, flying in from the clear blue . . . or simply take offense. These were the risks.

But the driver took it in stride. “Yes, I do,” he replied smoothly, and shared the location of the mosque. “I mow the lawn there. I get up early and mow. I don’t mind at all.”

I considered this for a moment, then asked: “Wali, when was Ramadan this year?” Springtime, he informed me.

“Better than July, I’ll bet — right?” I asked. “I’d hate to be fasting in mid-summer. . . “ With this observation he agreed heartily.

I arrived at the airport, spectacularly awake.

Sliding out curbside, I uttered, “God bless,” and I knew that he knew – his fare that morning . . .  was a Christian.

* * * * * *

I trust my job was done that day. There was so little time. Perhaps a seed was planted? I don’t know for sure. I leave Wali in God’s hands.

Friends, if I may suggest: Step 1 is to pray and discern God’s leading. Step 2 is to take a chance, climb out of the boat, walk on water, risk going under.

Image by Bruno Glätsch from Pixabay

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