In which I was no hero

by Craig on November 1, 2011

Should I share the Gospel with people I don't like, and don't like me?

I know - lots of stuff in this picture - the KEY - "LAST EXIT" ツ

 

So let’s say there’s someone who needs to know our Lord desperately. They are lost in so many ways, and so deeply, and they’re at that age where they are closer to the end of life then any late or middle part of it.

So time may very well be of the essence.

And if this person knew the gospel, and believed it, and gave their life over to God, and began to love, and obey and serve the Lord of all things, not only would their life be radically changed, but a world of hurt and damage could be healed or undone.

It seems an easy enough case. No?

I just spent a couple of weeks telling how I shared the Gospel with my mom just months before she died.

I ached for her to understand,
I asked all those questions and hung on every word and nuance of every answer…
and tailor made a letter so she could read it on her own with no pressure…
and she could reread it is many times as she needed…
and in that letter were answers to her every doubt, her every consideration…
and it was charged with so much concern about her present and her eternity…
and filled with memories, and happy personal examples, and love.

So I came across looking like a hero.

Maybe a cape, maybe a mask – but mostly stuffing…

Should I share the Gospel with people I don't like, and don't like me?source

…and no boots.

I was no hero.

That was my mom.

That was easy.

It doesn’t take a hero to do something he wants to do for someone he loves.

It’s like that time I slid headfirst under a jewelry store gate, as it was mechanically being lowered, on Christmas Eve, just before closing time, to buy a last-minute present. It seems heroic, but it’s just late.

The present should have been bought and wrapped and hidden long before that. I inconvenienced the people who were trying to close down and go home to their families. I risked having no present at all. A hero doesn’t wait until his mom is months away from death to make sure that she has life.

Heroes face dangerous and daunting challenges and bravely face the moment.

Should I share the Gospel with people I don't like, and don't like me?source

I was no hero. I was just late.

Now, all that being said…
what do you do with this other person…
who is infinitely farther away from the kingdom of God then my mom…
and whose life would be radically changed…
and the healing of so much hurt would occur…
if he were to become a committed Christian?

And I’ve known this person longer now than I knew my mother at the time I wrote the letter to her.

And I haven’t done it.

And I don’t want to do it.

And I might not.

Where’s the hero now?

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Victoria Jenkins November 1, 2011 at 9:42 am

Wow Craig!!
psssst….hey you. Yeah. You. I think the hero is still there. Are you living the Faith? Are you walking it out daily? So much so that the person sees Christ in you?

I once wrote a letter to a dear friend, much like you wrote to your Mom. She was very aware of my Faith and seemed to be hungry for it too. But she had different views. We were pretty close, but my letter threw her for a loop. Perhaps I should have given it more time. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been so bold. Oh wait! I’m pretty sure that SomeOne was directing me as I wrote. After she read the letter she didn’t talk to me for quite a while…it felt like forever. Finally when we talked again, it was awkward at best. Our closeness was gone. We tried to talk it out…we tried to reconnect again…but it was gone.
I ran into her recently after not seeing her for over 6 years…still awkward. No matter. God’s Word does not return void. She has a date with destiny and I truly believe it will come. In the meantime, her name is on my prayer list and I pray for her salvation every single day.
I expect some day she’ll realize Love wrote that letter and love gave it to her in fear and trembling knowing the risk.

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Craig November 1, 2011 at 7:22 pm

Trust me, Victoria a little self-deprecating – just a little – is a good thing for me. For a long time in my life I was proud – too proud – too proud to be used – just too much of it. So when I read something that I’ve written and I see that it makes me look like I am better than I am – sometimes I want to take a step back – that’s what I was getting at – I’m no hero for sharing the gospel – none of us are. ANd I’m certainly no hero for NOT wanting to share it. Now, on the other hand – YOU were brave. My mom was going to love me no matter what – you risked a friendship for the gospel – THAT’S brave. (And, okay – I’m a smidge brave ツ)

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A. November 2, 2011 at 12:25 pm

Victoria, you WERE brave, as Craig says. i especially love your last sentence, that some day she may realize that love wrote that letter, in fear and trambling…knowing the risk…knowing the imperfection of the one who wrote it. Knowing that it might offend.

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Cora November 1, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Risk. Hero. The two words just go together. Without the first, there can’t be the second. And I hate risk. I’m a calculating person. I see the positives and the negatives and put them on a scale. And the positives have to go “clunk” on the weightier side for me to choose. No maybe’s, no it might turn out. So if there is a negative risk invoved in sharing Christ eyeball to eyeball, I will usually find a “good” excuse (can there possibly be a “good” excuse????). Shame on me! I love your bear, Craig. I’m full of stuffing with no boots! I’d be glad to tell YOU how to do it but don’t do it myself. Last year, when my brother was dying and we Skyped and talked constantly and even shared Scripture, etc., I skirted around the questions I knew I should have asked. I wondered, worried, but wouldn’t ask. It was towards the end that he reassured me that he knew the Lord as his Savior and told me when and how it happened in such a way that I was convinced. But why???? Why couldn’t I love him enough to ask???? Doesn’t love take risks? Didn’t God risk everything for ME? Couldn’t I be a hero just once? I’ve changed since then. I don’t walk away as quickly. I listen better. and I take risks more often. I want to be a hero.

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Craig November 1, 2011 at 7:52 pm

Cora, me and risk – an all over the place relationship. I take them when I shouldn’t – and I don’t take them when I should – I haven’t quite figured out the risk thing yet. And thank you – THANK YOU – for hearting that bear – that’s another picture that I looked a long time for – and I wasn’t going in that direction – and then the picture found me – I really heart looking for pictures – it’s hard work – it really is – but it’s fun and creative – and very heartable (. That’s new. By the way – heart as an adjective ツ)

And Cora – look! You WERE a hero with your brother – and you’re hero to me!

But sharing the gospel with this person– And you’ve read me enough to know which one it is – I need to do it – and I’ve kind of done it – and I really don’t want to do it. I really have some working out to do on this issue. And to think all of this started with meeting a guy in Best Buy – remember that post? I don’t know how you guys keep up with my posting ADD. Seriously! and tomorrow Cora, a really strange sci-fi like post about this. It’ll be the weirdest post I’ve ever written on this site. Maybe the weirdest thing I’ve written period. God bless you my friend!

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Dawn November 1, 2011 at 7:33 pm

Craig and Cora,

I don’t want to be a hero, I just want to live well in the upside-down kingdom. This means I MUST die…to self.

Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.”

I know I’m not dead yet because I still get embarrassed, indignant, testy, hurt…you name it, if the self has even the slightest chance of being diminished, I pause. I think age is helping. I don’t think I need to preserve myself nearly as much now as when I was younger, but it is still there. He is so very merciful and patient. I owe Him a lot more growth than He’s seen, and by growth I mean death. Paradoxical how death is life in the Christian walk. Tomorrow is another day and, perhaps, because I was made to think about this today, I’ll be better positioned to lose some of my life tomorrow.

Bless you,
Dawn

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Craig November 1, 2011 at 7:57 pm

Oh, Dawn, we all owe him a lot more growth than he has seen. And listen here! I’m allowed to be tough on myself here – but nobody else is allowed to be tough on themselves – you have grown – you have changed – you ARE a hero.ツ Look at how you’re handling***. Enough said! God bless you Dawn.

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A. November 2, 2011 at 12:33 pm

wow, so much here…amen to Cora and Dawn and Victoria, too. Pride, whew! I have been praying lately, after being reminded of Arthur Blessitt and his humble boldness at Dawn’s blog a few days back, for more boldness based in greater awareness of who God is and who He is to me. And that all my worth comes from who I am in him, rather than what others think of me or what I have accomplished. (I know I use incomplete sentences sometimes.) Anyway, bold at the wrong times and lack of courage at others. how very, very true. The bold at the wrong times I think, in my case, is simply poor choice of communication, insensitive ‘unhearing’ communication. It is me foisting my ‘agenda’ for someone to ‘be saved’ over their need for me to begin by truly hearing them perhaps. I need to begin with heart for them instead of trying to bang them over the head with the message of God’s heart for them. I am totally preaching to myself here. i also hearted your fluffy, bootless bear!

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