Thursday, March 26, 2009

Seeing Through New Eyes

For my mission class we had an assignment of doing something missional as small groups and being prepared to present about it to the class. Yesterday morning my group finally did our "project". Each member of my group spends a decent amount of time walking the streets of downtown, but we all generally walk with purpose, simply trying to get from Point A to Point B, missing the people and faces crying out for help in between.

We wondered what it might look like to give ourselves the space and time to walk without purpose or agenda, simply letting God reveal who God would want to reveal. We couldn't have been more blessed by the process. We ended up buying breakfast, setting it out on benches near a common downtown bus stop, and sharing a common meal with a bunch of random strangers. It was such a blessing to hear people's stories (i.e. Buddha & Lisa), see people's faces, and unite with our neighbors around the commonality of food.

I continue to process a number of things from the experience. One of the people we met, Lisa, kept saying over and over again how thankful she was that there were people who cared. Then she said something I will never forget. She said that she wished the news would have been here to see us because this was good news. GOOD NEWS. I couldn't believe her language. We hadn't uttered a word about Jesus, but somehow the good news of the gospel of Christ had gone forth.

Another thing I noticed was that we didn't need to do any evangelism (proclamation of the good news) in order for the word to get out. Lisa did all the work for us. She must have brought 10-15 other people over to have breakfast with us in the hour that we were there. I'm starting to see this as the nature of mission and evangelism, that if your news is good enough news, you won't have to preach it because others will preach it for you. I think about the woman at the well...when she gets ahold of the 'good news' she tells her whole village about it. Jesus doesn't have to say a word to those people because the woman has done all the work for him. Or think about Zacceus...when he hears the 'good news' he tells his whole family, without Jesus having to preach a word to them.

I wonder what it might look like to actually trust that the gospel of Christ is good enough news that if the world catches glimpse of it, they will spread the message without us saying a word. Maybe this is at the heart of St. Francis' words on preaching without words. May our message truly be good news for the world.

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