Friday, March 28, 2008
On Being Sensitive
Our house Church had a meeting with Balin tonight. Balin is my national evangelist friend whom I have written about before. Last year I shared about his trip to Mordor and how he shared the Gospel boldly in the prisons there. This winter we helped him buy a ticket out to the East. He had heard that there were men and women of Gondor there and he wanted to take a week long trip to find them and share with them. Well, long story short he didn't find them but he did discover something interesting. The local language of the Easterlings is very close to the language of Rohan which he knows. So, he shared the Gospel with the Easterlings instead! Now you and I would be flat out flabbergasted if we were dropped into the middle of a strange city in a strange land with no contacts and determined to preach effectively, but not Balin. Balin stayed at a hotel that businessmen of Gondor often stay at when they travel through. He went out each day and toured the city and prayed. Here is the thing I want you to notice about Balin, he is not a rabid, shove a Bible in everyone's face kind of evangelist. He gave us a brief slideshow tonight and pointed out the many pictures of people he shared the Gospel with. There was the fruit seller, the boy who he met on the street and paid to show him around town, the vendors who sold him lunch on the street, a nice couple visiting the museum at the same time he was.... all these heard the good news for the first time from Balin. But as Balin talked he also pointed out men and women he did not share with. A fellow man of Gondor at the hotel, a local Mullah, a teenage boy who was full of hate for just about everyone, a young woman who was unremarkable in any way.... these he shared little or nothing with. Why not? Because the Holy Spirit told him to be quiet. I found this really interesting. Balin is a man for whom the word fear (or sense) has no meaning at all. I have seen him share his faith in the middle of prison surrounded by hundreds of Muslim prisoners. I have seen him share his faith one on one, in groups, at local markets, EVERYWHERE! But he heard the Holy Spirit tell him to keep quiet and he did. He also shared boldly when it was time to share. His message is largely the same by the way. He tells people that God loves them and is calling to them. He tells them that they are forgiven if they want to be and that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. I have thought before that perhaps his 'secret' was in his delivery of the message, the love that pours out of him, but now I think it is his sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. It reminds me of Jesus doing what he saw the Father doing. Can I be that sensitive? I think that we can all be. I think that Balin is teaching us that we can be as close to the Father as we want to be. It is not the Father who wants to be hidden and hard to perceive. It is our hearts and minds that must be focused on what He is doing. It is about Him and not about us. It is His ways, His timing, His Gospel, His Church that He is building. Jesus, make me to know you better, deeper, clearer every day. Amen.