The Reluctant Evangelist

As a Christian, it has often been impressed on me that I need to be involved in evangelism. However, in spite of my sincere belief in the need for the same, I find for some reason being reluctant. When I think of it, it is not because of a fear but rather a difficulty. Let me elaborate.

A friend was telling me of a young follower of Christ who was frustrated with a seeming lack of results in her evangelistic efforts. She stressed on how she was struggling to get through to her listeners, to impress on them the gravity of sin and ‘falleness’, of Heaven and Hell. Yet, as they talked, one thing stood out. She knew nothing about the stories of these friends but simply assumed that what she had to say would be meaningful.

The urgency of “the Call”, of Christ’s impending return, these are prime motivators. But sometimes they become such heavy burdens especially when they are bolstered with talk of achievement, goals, targets, deadlines and everything else from our modern day corporate church pitch. In the process, the joy of sharing the GOOD News is lost. AII that remains is NEWS. Given without context, the listener is just a number and their story is simply fodder for a news letter (or ignored)

I wish to share a tale about sacrifice:

Once there was a grand feast and all creation was invited. All the animals attended and danced the hours away. Towards the end of the feast and hours later, the great siblings of the sky, the Sun and her brother, the Moon, appeared. Everybody grumbled at their audacity to come late. There was much talk and every one spoke ill of the two. Someone even said “Look at those two, siblings, dancing together as if they were lovers”.

On hearing this, the siblings left the dance in anger and refused to share their light with the rest of creation. Thus the world was left in darkness.

The animals suddenly realized what they had done and greatly regretted their actions which had plunged the face of the earth into darkness. Yet they had no way of undoing what had been done. They had to go and beg for forgiveness but no one dared approach the Sun in her anger.

Finally, the Rooster stepped forward and volunteered. Every one was relieved and sought to support the Rooster as much as they could. Now the Rooster was an ugly bird. It could not fly. It was short. Most of all it was naked and did not have a single feather. So each being gave him a feather to cover the Rooster in a riot of colors, fit for a king!

Thus, attired in his regal finery, the Rooster went looking for the Sun till he found her.

Being of a humble nature, the Rooster spoke well, seeking the Sun’s good graces. And his pleas were heard and the Sun returned enthusiastically at his request. Excited at his achievement, the Rooster rushed back to his friends to share his news.

As he reached the crest of the final mountain, he felt the Sun’s warmth upon his back and He crowed out to announce her arrival. And then the Sun filled the sky with all her glory.

Khasis sacrifice but do not see the Rooster as god instead as a messenger. The moral is: even a humble messenger is valuable and worthy of a story.

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Wilbur Manners Written by:

Medical Doctor with an avid interest in how belief and culture interact, especially in the khasi context and the larger context of being part of India and its vast variety.

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