A note from Lisa: Here’s another archived piece — I hope you’re enjoying a relaxing weekend! LMH
Greg, Eric and I were each spending time in our own favorite corners of Barnes and Noble. I was standing in front of the parenting section, looking at books about raising teens. Next to me stood a lovely young couple who were deeply engrossed in a book about breastfeeding. The wife was very pregnant, looking ready at any time to deliver the baby. Their excitement bubbled tangibly.
Suddenly, another young couple approached the two would-be parents. Introducing himself with a handshake, the husband congratulated the pregnant couple on their soon-to-be arrival and introduced his wife by her first name.
“We would love to exchange contact email addresses with you and treat the two of you to a dinner after your baby is born, once you’re feeling up to it,” the husband enthusiastically said. “At our church, we love to treat new parents to a special night out following the birth of their baby.”
I watched incredulously (but trying not to be too obvious), as the pregnant couple exclaimed “Oh, how nice!” and proceeded to hand over their email address. A long conversation about breastfeeding ensued, with the evangelizing wife sharing some of her experiences with the mother-to-be while the two husbands chatted about the non-denominational Christian church in question.Suddenly feeling like the third wheel in a burgeoning friendship, I moved along to the religion section of the bookstore, pondering what had just happened in front of me.
Wow – what a display of outreach. I’ll admit to being absolutely horrible when it comes to this type of thing. In fact, I actually wanted to turn to the pregnant couple during this episode and say, “Be careful about giving your email out to strangers!”
I’m not a shy person, but I’m also not one who would boldly go out and invite a stranger to attend mass at my family friendly parish. Witnessing this display made me question myself – am I missing opportunities to share Christ’s light and love with people during the course of my day to day activities? Am I boldly proclaiming the gospel with my life?
It’s unlikely that I will be handing out dinner invitations in the parenting section of the bookstore any time soon, but I am trying to change my attitude to be a little more “on the lookout” for chances to share my faith in a gentle and loving way.
How do you reach out to others to proclaim the beauty of our faith? Are you shy about evangelizing like me or bold and brave when it comes to spreading the good news?