One warm summer afternoon I was in Jerusalem exploring the old walled city with a friend. We wandered through the shops, museums and shrines. We decided to wander down to the Western Wall. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
In this place where Jewish people come to pray at what is left of their ancient sacred temple there were Christian missionaries stoping them and witnessing to them. The missionaries were trying to get converts from people going to prayer! I couldn’t believe it! All I could think was how would these missionaries feel if Jewish or Islamic missionaries charged into their church during a Sunday service and tried to recruit converts? It was the same thing and the missionaries were either too blind to see (or more likely didn’t care) how rude and disrespectful they were being.
I was so horrified I just wanted to hide my crucifix under my shirt and get out of there before anyone thought I was with the missionaries. My friend and I talked about what we had seen as we walked back to our hotel. My friend just happened to be a Christian missionary.
“What were they thinking? How could they do that? I have never seen you do anything like that. Come to think of it, I have ever seen you witness to anyone.” I will never forget his explanation of the difference between him and the people we had seen at the Western Wall.
“I am the only Bible some people will ever read. I don’t need to go out and preach to people, trying to convince them of anything. My job is to live what I believe and help people to the best of my ability. If I want people show respect to me and my beliefs then I need to show respect to them and their beliefs. God will take care of leading them to whatever faith he wants them in. All I need to worry about is trying to be an example of how He wants people to live and treat each other.”
He gave me a lot of food for thought. Was I living what I believed or was I just giving voice to ideas that I failed to put into practice? Was I helping to make the world a better place or was I part of the problem?
The idea for this post came while pondering The Daily Prompt: In Good Faith. The Daily Prompt can be a great way to get some inspiration when you are in need of a kickstart.