Thursday, January 24, 2013
Are You Going to Harvard Square? Parsley Sage Rosemary and Thyme. by Linda Maynard
…Remember me to the one who lives there
La – la – la – la—la—la—la—la
Oh, excuse me I got caught up in some old tunes.
My apologies to Simon and Garfunkel, for messing with the lyrics of Scarborough Fair.
Why Harvard Square you ask?
I was on a short term Missions Trip to the Boston area.
Oh boy, I felt like I jumped off a faith cliff, right into the seat of intellectualism. I remember the terror. Could my heart beat any faster? I was sure there was “Nowhere to Run to…No Where to Hide” (Thank you,Martha and the Vandellas)
Ok, enough with the songs Linda, gather in your thoughts.
One evening, began in the South End of Boston at an A of G Church. The Pastor was going to oversee this outreach. We gathered at his church for a strategic pep talk.
I gleaned something from him that I have never forgotten.
He said, “Don’t be focused so on bringing these young people to the Lord, that you miss what God is doing.”
He likened a person’s life and their exposure to the Gospel as being on a continuum, 1 through 10.
“On one end is #1, representing the person who has never heard about the Lord.
Then going all the way over to #10, where a person receives salvation.
He said “Maybe you are going to bring a person from a 6 to 7. That person has had people and circumstances already happening to bring them closer to a decision.”
“Another could be stuck at a 2 and have some misgivings or fears. You might just bring them up a notch.”
“You could be the one to pray the prayer of salvation.
Trust the Lord”
This lesson changed the dreaded idea I had of evangelism. I thought anything less than 100% was a failure.
We left the church and walked down the street with Pastor Tony. We stopped for C-rations at an Italian Bakery.
I chose a cannoli.
We sat with the owner.
She was a dear welcoming woman. She kept looking towards the Pastor and in her broken English, kept saying …father this and father that.
While walking away, I asked him about her father.
He chuckled.“Oh, she’s talking about me. She calls me Father Tony all the time. I tell her that I am not a Catholic Priest. It just doesn’t seem to matter.”
We continued on our way to Harvard Square, via the subway
We picked a partner to minister with. The plan was one sister would be talking to a person, the other would be praying silently.
The closer we got, the more nervous I became.
On previous days, I blew a shofar in front of City hall, as well as in the Old North Church. That probably would freak someone else out, but those acts came naturally.
This mission was loaded with fright for me.
Some know that I have had a struggled with not feeling smart enough. I didn’t go to college, except for a few courses. I know this is not a logical, but I felt ‘stupid”
Actually, we know from the Bible, words have great power, for good and for bad. I was affected by negative words spoken over me.
We arrived and I wasn’t feeling one bit more confident and said to my partner, “You go first!” She did. Then I said “You did so well, why don’t you do it again?” She obliged and all the while I am thinking “I can pray. I am an intercessor. Keep talking sister! Keep going! I am right there with you”
She didn’t know my struggle but she also was not going to be the only one to approach strangers either.
All and all, I talked to 2 young men and 1 young woman.
One of the first was not interested at all. He was with a group that kind of mocked us.
The second however, moved away from the group and asked questions. Maybe he moved from a 5 to a 6? Only heaven knows.
The girl was sitting, leaning up against a storefront drawing. She just seemed happy to have someone to talk to.
I didn’t die at Harvard Square.
My intelligence never came into question.
Even today, as I have talked with quite a few strangers, my heart still beats a million beats a minute…but for Jesus, I have determined to jump off the cliffs that He brings me to.
Is anyone ready to jump with me?