Tomorrow, The Husband and I fly to New Orleans. We're going with a church group to do what is loosely describable as "hurrican relief." We have no idea what we will be doing specifically, because we'll be at the disposal of the local church we're partnering with, but there will most likely be some yard and construction work. The church has built a distribution center where food and other resources are handed out to people who need them. We'll most likely be manning that distribution center.
I'm totally down with that. Doing stuff with my hands I'm absolutely comfortable with.
There has, however, been a lot of talk of encouraging people, of praying with/for people, and of sharing the gospel with people. There are so many "what if"s and "but I"s that come to mind here that I won't be able to name them all.
Many of my friends and acquaintances would probably describe me as social and outgoing. That is the case because I am faking them out. My being outgoing is not a character trait, it is a decision I make every time I meet someone or come in contact with someone. If I let myself, I'd just stand in the corner and make no eye contact (sad but true). I feel awkward a lot and I get socialed out quickly. I like and need my alone time. But because I live in the world and I actually like to be with people once I've gotten to know them better, I force myself to be outgoing.
Couple that with the fact that I am extremely reluctant to offend someone with my faith, and then please excuse me while I go breathe into a paper bag.
I think I've perhaps been a little damaged. Damaged by the notion that "evangelism" is a crazy guy with a long beard, staning on a box on a street corner, holding up signs and scaring kids with his vivid descriptions of damnation and hellfire. Damaged by the idea that most people I could randomly approach on the street, at the park, or in a mall probably won't be interested in hearing that Jesus saves.
Over the last few days, I had to quickly recycle my ideas. The truth is that God doesn't want me to shove the Bible down people's throats. Evangelism, when done correctly, involves the Holy Spirit leading me. I have to trust God that when the time comes, I will know who to talk to and what to say. And I also have to trust that when I follow God's lead on this, what I will say to a person will be the right thing, the thing they need to hear.
Am I still freaked out? Somewhat. It comes and goes. Stronger than the nervousness is the knowledge that this is an adventure. An adventure with God, and I'm excited about that.