My Dad had a simple but I think telling experience last week and I thought it was worth sharing.
My Dad was getting his haircut which isn’t terribly exciting but he also had a conversation with the barber. Apparently this guy was a lasped Catholic who was now getting his life back in order. He had returned to church and enrolled in AA. My Dad was happy to celebrate this guy’s change of heart and lifestyle. I think the barber also talked about how he had been an atheist for a while but was now happy that he had rejected that. In the course of the conversation my Dad related he said something like this “You know, it just amazes me that the God of the Universe wants to have a personal relationship with us and atheists just reject that. They are really missing out.” Not the most theologically deep sentence ever uttered but all the barber could ask was “You a preacher or something?”
I had to laugh. My Dad is a fairly brillant guy who works in finances in Boston. He has never formerly been in ministry. My sisters, my mom and I have been on multiple missions trips, he has never been on one. But my Dad does have one incredibly important thing going for him when it comes to his faith. He Believes. He knows the Bible, he knows why it makes sense and he knows that Jesus did all the things that the Bible says he did. I remember coming home from church when I was in grade school with memory verses for the week. I would announce the reference to my dad and he would be able to paraphrase or recite it almost immediately. Now looking back, some of those might of been pretty easy references but still I remember it so it resonated with me in some way. He doesn’t just blurt things out to random people on the street about his faith but when the opportunity arises he can simply and powerful explain what he believes and why about Christianity.
My overall point though is this. Being a christian is not just about an image. Going to church, volunteering, doing mission trips and the like are all great but if you cannot sit down with another person and explain why Jesus means something to you, whats the point?
My Dad isn’t perfect and I am not trying to say you have to know about God merely intellectually but being able to explain God was not the job left only to preachers. All Christians are called to do it. Your story may not be eloquent or long or even all that exciting to you. But it’s important and people want and need to hear it. You don’t need to be a preacher, just a Christian, a forgiven, blessed son or daughter of God.