Harvest Table

Awkward Conversations

One thing I have always loved doing with my children and grandchildren is walking around the yard with them and introducing them to nature. There are so many teachable moments and so many new things to wow them.

We can count the trees in the yard, learn colors, and explore smell and texture. When you are two, it’s better than Disney World (in my humble opinion).

As I was showing my two-year-old grandson around our yard, I was struck by how he might be confused by the words I used. Perhaps he thought I had lost it a little when we got up close and personal with an orange tree.

“This is an orange tree,” I said as I pointed to the green leafed tree with a brown trunk.

Then I pointed to the little white orange blossoms and said, “Each of these little flowers will turn into an orange.”

He loves oranges and I think orange is his favorite color, so I can only imagine that he was wondering what kind of joke I was pulling on him. He is the strong, silent type, so he indulged me.

This got me thinking about the way I talk to people, especially people who I don’t know. Do they understand me? When I’m trying to tell them about Jesus do I use “churchy” words that would not create a bridge for communication?

I have been challenged lately to be free in talking to people about Jesus and to invite people to church. I am glad we don’t get letter grades for this, because I definitely need improvement. The Holy Spirit is a patient teacher though, and I am learning that it is really not all about me and how I say things. (Clearly, he does use that, but I need not get all hung up about it.)

The other day I was at Publix and I said yes to the bagger when he offered to help me to my car. He was one of the friendliest young men that I have come across in a long time, and I told him so. My mind was going crazy thinking about how to engage him in a conversation about Jesus. When he turned to go back to the store I blurted out, “Are you a Christian?”

I know, smooth.

He came back to my car and we had a great conversation, proving that eloquence is not the only key to talking about Jesus. I think the main key was being friendly and kind toward him; also known as loving your neighbor. As it turns out, he was a Christian and needed some encouragement. We had a fairly deep though short conversation, and he said he wanted to visit our church.

I’ll be keeping an eye out for him both at Metro Life Church and at Publix. So, who is God putting in your path with whom you can break out in awkward conversation?

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