Thursday, February 26, 2015

Comfort Zone

The elderly man paused in the aisle of the market. Leaning on his cane, he spoke into his cell phone, English phrases, Chinese phrases. He was obviously weary and confused.

Our eyes met and we both left our comfort zones to smile. How hard it can be to cross barriers of gender, nationality, language and cultures. It's so much more natural to ignore a stranger than to risk embarrassment saying the wrong thing.

"Good morning," he said. "I have problem."

"I am a Christian," I said encouragingly. "I will help you. What is the problem?"

"Jesus-person? Yes?"

I smiled, relaxing, back in my comfort zone. "Yes. I am Jesus-person."

"Not Jesus-person," he replied. "Old person. Lost old person."

I helped him find his way to the front of the store where he could rest on a bench while he phoned his son for a ride home. He was back in his comfort zone, back in the familiar.

I shared a little bit about Jesus, but the barriers were too wide. There wasn't enough time, enough common language, enough opportunity to introduce him to Jesus.

While we were still lost, when we were "not Jesus-people", Jesus died for us. Now we are Jesus-people, and we find our comfort zone in His presence, singing and shouting our praises.

Shouldn't talking about Jesus with those who are still lost be our comfort zone?

Leaving this man in his lost state of "not a Jesus-person" was more uncomfortable than it ever could be to leave my comfort zone and say hello to a stranger.

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