Saturday, June 12, 2010

"Saints Elsewhere"

Yesterday I was graciously worked into an appointment with a double-booked podiatrist for some overdue work on diabetic feet. As I sat down in the waiting room for what was supposed to be an extended wait, I pulled out my headset and settled into some of my favorite relaxing music. Soon a young soccer player and her mom came in. She looked soccer with her cast and book and skinned leg along with the lithe, physically toned body. What struck me was here I am in my own world of music. Mom is somewhere else with her cell phone and daughter is doing the same with her hand held gadget.

Here we are in a brief community of patients in a waiting room and all three are elsewhere with our electronic connections to elsewhere. Brought to mind not only our worship services, but also our interactions with lost people. We are near them, in their vicinity, maybe in a professional working relationship, but the Saints are Elsewhere, not just on their electronics, but maybe in their theologies, politics, or pet projects, and WE fail to be in community, right here, right now with the people God has placed in our path. When we are Elsewhere, we cannot listen to lost people and hear their cries for help for salvation.

What will it take to take off our outlets to another world, other people, even an eschatological future to just be present with one person who needs Christ? We listen, perhaps, or gab, with someone elsewhere, but we are missing opportunities to listen in the moment, live, realtime, with real souls.

That's what Story Listening Evangelism is all about: teaching and equipping believers with the skills to do that listening, hearing the person's cries for help and responding in a way to mirror their lostness back to themselves so that the Spirit can do its saving work.

Stay tuned: NO, get off this blog and listen to that person or persons in your presence.

THEN, come back here for help in hearing their cries for help.

I'll be waiting and listening for you.

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