One of the primary reasons I’m not always forthcoming about sharing my faith in certain situations is that I often predict the reaction I’m going to get prior to actually saying anything. When I read Matthew 10 this week, verse 14 stuck with me: “If anyone won’t welcome you or listen to your message, go out of the house or the town and shake the dust off your feet.” Keeping this verse in mind, I’ve been constantly reminding myself that sharing God’s grace and peace is my job and gauging the reaction of my audience prior to acting on that mission is not.
Many of you know that I work in a hospital. A few years ago at work, I was pushing a sedated girl in her early 20’s who had been a victim of a car accident down the hall to surgery. Her mother, who had driven through the night to be there with her, was walking with us. Her daughter was stable at the time but I could tell her mother was still worried and running on adrenaline. Knowing she felt anxious and that the situation was out of her control, I put my hand on top of that hers and said, “If you’d like, I’ll pray for your daughter while she’s in surgery.” We were on an elevator and tears started streaming down her face. We got off the elevator, and for a minute or two, we continued walking down the hallway in silence – her in tears, and me feeling awkward, praying she wouldn’t be offended by what I said and that she would receive it as I meant it – as a form of kindness. Right before we parted ways at the end of the hall, she looked up at me, nodded and muttered, “please.”
Nothing else happened. I don’t know if that woman believed in God or didn’t. I don’t know any of her story before or after the 5 minutes that our stories ran parallel, but I do know that in that moment, I felt led to share my faith with her. There are many times in my life that I feel the same tug, and I’m ashamed to say that I don’t always act for fear of that person’s reaction. The reminder that we are called to do so regardless of the response we receive is something I’ve been focusing on this season of Lent. This week let’s all remind ourselves to share God’s love and mercy when He leads us to do so and when we aren’t received well, to “shake the dust off our feet” and continue to be bold in His name.