The following E-vangie Tale is by a brand new student who showed up the third week of our 6-week class. On the third week, I surprise the students by taking them out unexpectedly to share their faith. And boy, was she surprised—and touched.
By Mia McName
I started the Evangelism (without fear) class two weeks late and Steve decided to take us all to mall to hand out tracts – WHOA! what an introduction! I have never given out a tract in my life, so I was a little more than nervous.
However, with supportive sister by my side and cute baby in arms – and the memories of inspirational video in my mind – off we went.
In the mall parking lot, my sister Minnie and I each gave out a Million dollar bill to two women exiting the mall and they so cheerfully accepted, I figured, Hey! this really IS easy. Then we entered the mall and it was a bit different. I felt a bit like a covert operations team, pulling tracts out of the baby bag and dodging the security. It was exciting, but I didn’t feel as if I was making any connections with the folks I was handing the tracts to.
Then Minnie and I went in to Macy’s, looking for the bathroom. On the way, I saw a woman browsing through the clothing. I offered her a tract and she coldly declined. When we started off again, she called us back and asked us why we chose her to speak to. “Did you think I’m stupid?” she asked.
I told her that we cared about her, and she said, “No, you don’t” and proceeded to give us a little piece of her mind. I was slightly taken aback, but what was coming through, loud and clear, was the woman’s pain and alienation. Unfortunately, I was caught so off guard, I went away. I count it as a missed opportunity, but a valuable lesson, as well. First off, it caused me to double-check my motivation. Why AM I giving out the tracts? Is compassion motivating me? That night, perhaps not. It was more obedience and adrenaline. Not that God can’t use that! But …
Secondly, it has been a great fear of mine that something JUST LIKE THAT would happen. Now it has – and I know better what I would have liked to have done. Certainly not run away, but rather, move in. Engage in a conversation – allow Jesus to meet people through me.
This experience, far from being a downer or off-putting, has encouraged me to talk with more people. I am so glad for this surprise event. No time to think and back out!