Wow, that devotional this morning was powerful to me and the best explanation I've heard in my life about evangelism. Thank you for taking the time to write it. Not coincidently I finished reading it at exactly 10:02 this morning! I observed the time and thought, well why not spend some moments in focused prayer.
My prayer room is the rarely used guest room, small, mostly unfurnished now except a long low hutch upon which I will place a globe of the world, my prayer shaw I keep in a wooden box and use on occasion. I was trying to fast every Sunday and introduce that discipline but since my move back I've not done it. I will as the Lord leads and helps me. the room has no windows, is quite free from distractions and I can pace around because I suppose I have a bit of ADHD and could not sit still ever.
I, too. was forced to go door to door and so painfully shy I couldn't look at people it was extremely stressful to me as a child. I've felt compelled to "witness" to people who were not interested and embarrassed by my red face horror of having to talk to strangers. now that I think of it, it was probably dangerous for a young child to go door to door without an adult nearby to observe. As a teenager in Alaska, I felt compelled out of my own extreme legalism to go to the airports with gospel tracks and give them to the 100s of young soldiers at the last stop before going to Vietnam. What that got me as a fit 16 year old girl was catcalls, stares, lewd comments and older teenage men trying to prove their manhood to their buddies by treating me as an object. I began to passionately HATE "GI's" and consider them barbaric and animal like.
Eventually I retreated to a cabin in the woods because I love solitude and found those "witnessing" marathons extremely scarring to me. Needless to say no one ever got converted at least not to my knowledge. And when I went to Evergreen College, a school that pegs itself as the "Queer Capital of the World" we had a bull horn evangelist too that came out to be mocked and jeered while yelling harshly they were all going to burn in hell. It was a pathetic demonstration of hatred on all sides. Into this history, comes your devotional bringing some clarity.
I also related to the idle chitchat. I have a daughter, quite estranged from God (well maybe just the religious trappings) that got a job with several very outspoken evangelicals. I was delighted but after 2 years of hearing their tea party obsessively anti O'bama political rantings and hatred of gays (her father is gay) she left that job hating Christians, (hating is not too strong a word here) Their idle chatter demonstrating bizarre extreme republican right politics shut down any possible opportunity a Christian could have had to model some sort of behavior that gave evidence of a supernatural life. It was a lesson to me as well to not get embroiled in idle political debates. Politics come and go, souls live once.
This woman's email was a great reminder to me of the different ways that we can "think we are on the right track," but later find out that our good intentions were for naught. I hope it is helpful to those who read it!