I am a missionary. “Duh, I knew that.” I know. But what you may not know is what that means is different for me than you (probably).
People ask me questions. Lots of questions. “Why do you do ?” “Why don’t you believe ?” “How do I teach my children about ?” “How do I make so and so stop ? And because I’m a missionary, it’s assumed that I know.
But I don’t. I’m a Christian wife and mother, and I’m slogging through this mess of a life just like everyone else. All too often with a rotten attitude about it.
The questions used to rattle me. Our American focus on education and testing means that when there is a question, we should have the right answer. And if we don’t...bad grade. I really don’t want to get a bad grade in being a missionary.
But now I imagine it this way: If I were walking up a hill behind someone and came to a difficult step over a rock, it would make sense to ask whoever had made it over that rock to reach back, grab my hand, and steady me so that we can continue on together. And that’s often all the questions are really aiming for...requesting that someone provide a boost, a steadying presence in this continual climb toward growth and well-being. They are asking, “Are you available to walk with me? Or am I in this on my own?”
Now I’m not as thrown off by questions. There are lots of things I don’t know, lots of answers that haven’t been mine to wrestle. But I have already crossed lots of rocks, already asked God lots of questions and sought His redirection in how to think and live and love. I can lend a hand.
Folks, Jesus was all about giving a boost, being a steadying presence, and walking with anyone who approached Him.
Therefore, we should be, too.
It’s not about having answers. It’s not about fixing people. It’s not about condemnation, judgment, categorizing, condescending, managing, entertaining, legislating, or constructing. No gimmicks, tricks, bullet points, illustrations, do’s, don’t’s, or how-to’s will suffice.
It’s about presence. His in us. Ours in the lives of others. His kingdom is wherever He is and how his arrival changes the world.
They are hungry for Him and are asking us if He has come near in us.