I am a weak evangelist.
Not because I don’t believe in the message. Not because I don’t want God’s light to shine in someone’s dark life. Not because I don’t care if people go to heaven or hell.
Because I do. I do believe, I do want, I do care. All of the above and more.
But my lips remain silent, my heart still quivers at the thought of confrontation.
I mean, when conversations take a weighty turn and my only answer is to praise and glorify and preach God and His mercy, promises, grace, omnipotence, it’s easy. It spills out because it’s my identity, it’s my life, it’s my experience.
But is that enough? Is simply waiting for the conversation to happen enough?
I say no.
Yet my lips are silent, my heart quivers at the thought of confrontation.
And I realize… I am Moses.
I don’t speak well. I write because I don’t speak well. The mere thought of speaking in a large group of people or presenting to a roomful of participants prompts me to pray for an early death.
I don’t sound intelligent when I speak. When I write, it’s different. I can hit backspace, I can search a thesaurus, I can run a draft by someone I trust. When I speak, it’s out there, and it ain’t going anywhere. It can’t hide. It won’t disappear. It won’t suddenly get highlighted and replaced with a smarter-sounding word. I’m stuck with my stupid word choice and the sinking, gripping feeling that I’m no longer making sense or I’m no longer worth listening to.
I sometimes forget to say all that I want to say. I get so flustered with having to speak outside of my comfort zone (whether in a group or on a difficult topic), that I defer to my innate brevity in order to flee from the spotlight more quickly.
I dislike controversy. When I write on controversial topics, I’m alright. People comment, reply, or write articles in response and I’m still alright, because I don’t have to look. I don’t have to respond. I can get flustered and heated and indignant on my own without hurting others. When I speak on controversial topics, well, I don’t speak on controversial topics. People can bait me all they like, but I don’t feel like getting upset or sounding foolish or failing miserably, so here’s some brevity and goodbye.
I am an introvert who doesn’t like to speak, simply because I stink at talking.
If only I had an Aaron, evangelism would be a breeze.
But I don’t.
Instead, God points at me and says, “Go.”
“But, I really can’t–”
“See, I understand what You want me to do, but You created me to be–”
“Gaugh, I was saying, You created me to be quiet, and so–”
“–can’t I just sit here, behind my laptop screen, being quiet?”
So here I am, the reluctant evangelist, going.
Going to talk with Muslim students over coffee.
Going to learn to love a city that the rest of America calls the armpit of Ohio.
Going to know more deeply the students in Mister’s and my Bible study.
Going to try and shine a light in the armpit city’s business district doing something I’ve never done before.
Because God uses His people as He wills, not as they expect, and not in ways that keep them comfortable.
P.S.: Pray for me and all introverted believers yearning and learning to burn brightly for God.
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”
“And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead. Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.”
Then Moses said to the Lord, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” The Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now then go, and I, even I, will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say.” But he said, “Please, Lord, now send the message by whomever You will.”