Thursday, August 30, 2007

Affable evangelism

Call to mind someone you might think of when the word "evangelist" is mentioned. Clean cut? Lots of jargon? Trying to convince you of something, is he? Perhaps he's wearing a conservative shirt and tie -- maybe even penny loafers. Do you feel comfortable? Would you like to look him up for lunch? If not, what a missed opportunity for the Holy Spirit.

I heard about a different approach the other day. A friend of my daughter went on an organized mission trip with a church group, I believe. They were in a poor area of a Latin American country; they had brought lots of beans and other food to distribute and a boatload of Bibles.

But this young man got a bit impatient with his friends' foot-dragging as they got everything organized and programmed. So, he went down to the place where the men of the village appeared to gather, the local bar. He was warmly greeted when he walked in and offered a drink, but he explained in his halting Spanish that he only had $1. A shout went up - no problem! - and soon, equipped with a beer, he was swapping stories of his home town and hearing about their families, their chickens, and their difficulties finding work.

He left to get some money and convince his friends that he had stumbled onto an opportunity. So, better bankrolled this time, he returned and bought a round of beer to good cheer. Soon, one of his friends walked in with a load of the beans they had brought. Could anybody use some beans? Hey, sure, everybody could, and wasn't it great that the visitors had turned up with all that extra food. The fun continued.

Soon another friend came in with his arms full. Could anybody use a Bible? Huzzah, sure, that's great. Thanks, come on and sit down, what will you have? You guys read the Bible? Yeah, I've wondered about that too, but the really important stuff like our good Lord is all there plain as day. Yes, even though it's mostly women in the churches, manly men are stronger when they are living like God wants them to. Want help getting those beans home? Sure, we're staying for a week. I'll get you back tomorrow for that dart game.

* * * * *

My daughter tells me that this fellow "was a guy before he was a Christian." Maybe that's the secret.


Therese Z said...

Good story.

Women wouldn't have done that the same way, that's the best part of the story. It's such a guyness thing.

I'm trying to retell it in my head, from a woman's perspective. Probably start by admiring a baby, then playing with the children or soothing a fretful baby and talking, then knitting little hats for the kids, then.... I don't know. I can see evangelism in a strange setting through loving the children, but how do you tell the story woman-to-woman without the family to connect them? Teaching a new skill?

kc bob said...

I love that story!!

My friend Pam tells the story of when she first landed in China at the onset of her missionary journey. She befriended 3 ladies there telling them of her frustrations with unanswered prayers ... by the time she left all 3 ladies were leading home churches.

I think that the moral of these stories is that people respond to 'regular' people.

TS said...

Since we're on the subject of guyness, I hope you'll indulge the posting some lyrics of a new Brad Paisley song, "I'm Still a Guy":

When you see a deer, you see Bambi
And I see antlers up on the wall
When you see a lake you think picnics
And I see a large mouth up under that log

You're probably thinkin’ that you're gonna change me
In some ways well maybe you might
Scrub me down, dress me up
Oh but no matter what,
Remember, I'm still a guy

When you see a priceless French painting
I see a drunk naked girl
You think that riding a wild bull sounds crazy
And I'd like to give it a whirl..

But when you say a backrub means only a backrub
And you swat my hand when I try
Well now what can I say at the end of the day
Honey, I'm still a guy

Roz said...

I love that! I'll have to go find the song. Women really want their guys to be guys, but perhaps we differ about the what's indispensably "guyful".

I, for instance, would not be fond of a tendency to imagine every living thing stuffed and mounted over a mantel. But I do get a little shivery when my guy grabs a hammer with authority or wants to deck someone who he thinks might threaten me with harm.

I mainly like a guy who is loving and considerate without being tentative and oblivious.

And, as Therese says, men who go to daily Mass are studly.



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