Recently, I was talking with a friend. She was telling me about how much she admired another friend of hers for her ease in talking with strangers about God. She marveled at her ability to offer to pray with a relative stranger without it being awkward or unnatural. Perhaps, in defense of my own shyness and introverted ways, I responded, “Well, you have to remember, that’s her personality. Not everyone is going to be able to be that bold, nor should we expect to be.”
But as I thought about this conversation more and the Holy Spirit started to deal with me, something dawned on me. Indulge me for a moment:
Suppose I had the cure for cancer. I have the secret of eradicating this awful disease once and for all. Wouldn’t I want to shout it from the roof tops, telling everyone I encounter? I’m certain I wouldn’t rationalize, “Well, I’m not outgoing. I can’t just walk up to strangers and tell them how to cure cancer.” I would find a way to get over my shyness to help people.
Well here I am, not with a fix for cancer, but something far greater and I’m keeping my mouth shut because, “It’s uncomfortable.” The world we live in is dying. People I cross paths with everyday are dying and I have the antidote. But I’m too much of an introvert to do anything about it? Somehow, I don’t think that’s what God has called me to do.
I will never be that person who can walk up to a complete stranger and say, “Have you met my friend, Jesus?” But I can initiate conversations with those around me, rather than keeping my eyes forward hoping I don’t catch anyone’s eye. I can be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s gentle nudges and allow Him to guide my interactions with the people I encounter. And I can remember Ephesians 2:1, 4-5: “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience…But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ–by grace you have been saved” (ESV). When I remember what God did for me through Jesus, how can I not share this great news with a dying world?