The Sunday School Class I attend recently finished the book, Eats With Sinners by Arron Chambers. Throughout cultural history, the willingness to eat with someone demonstrates an acceptance of that person. So the question, week after week, was this: As you attempt outreach for the sake of the gospel, who are you willing to eat with? We all felt challenged by Jesus’ example to reach out to those who don’t fit in our inner circles.
I’ve tried to make a difference in my world. I’ve tried to spread the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus everywhere. I smile at store clerks, wave at children and donate homemade bread to our local Christian school bake sale. But it doesn’t seem to have any impact. I don’t see results.
So lately, through this study, I have felt the challenge to be more bold, to up the ante, to move out of the mundane and step out of my personal status quo. I asked God to show me ways I can be more daring in reaching out to others. I’m intrigued with how the Spirit nudged me.
Outreach To Restaurant Servers
On a trip to see our daughters, my husband and I ate supper at a Ponderosa Steakhouse. At the beginning of our meal, we prayed as we always do in restaurants. This time,I found myself thanking God for our waitress and asking Him to bless her evening. At the end of our meal, I wrote her a note, thanking her for her service and telling her that we had prayed for her, thanked God for her and were praying that she would have a blessed evening. Then I lay a decent tip on top of the note.
Outreach to City Workers
OAnother day, as I was walking home, I noticed the city crew installing new sidewalks along our cross-street. As a non-driver resigned to walking everywhere, I really appreciate sidewalks. I especially like new sidewalks. No more tripping over cracks.
I got a crazy idea. It was scary. What if they reject me? What if they talk in the bar about that crazy woman who . . . ?I asked the Lord for guidance. His answer impressed upon my brain: doing a kind deed is always the right thing to do. So I went home and made chocolate chip cookies for the crew.
We left before the waitress discovered her note. And the crew’s initial response was “thank City Council and tell them to appropriate more money.” But a worker saw me the next day and thanked me for the cookies. As they continue to work on the sidewalk, the guys greet me.
My next nudge? We have two “street children” who have been coming to our church’s Wednesday night meal. They sit by themselves. Next Wednesday, I’m taking a deck of Uno cards and teach them how to play Uno.
If we’re going to spread the fragrance of Jesus everywhere, we need to make sure the scent is strong enough for the world to notice.