Different Strokes

Working in downtown Boston definitely has its moments. On a recent lunch break as I walked in the Commons, I was confronted by a very vocal street pastor vociferously preaching the perils of not believing in Jesus and bemoaning our sinful ways. I found it interesting that though no one stood near him, and his style was quite offputting, I could see people from a distance sitting on the lawn watching and listening to him, drawn to a message they did not want to be seen as interested in, yet one they felt compelled to hear. I even found myself walking a little more slowly to try to catch his words.

How different the feeling as I crossed the street to the mellow sounds of a guitarist set up on the church steps by a sign near the open door welcoming all to enter. Chairs had been placed at the base of the steps and passersby were drinking in the peacefulness of the area or stopping to eat their lunches there as they felt His presence.

On the way back there were the usual quiet missionaries offering pamphlets and smiles, more than happy to dialogue, but not pushy if you walked by.

No matter what we think of each person’s approach, aren’t they really doing what we are charged to do, to share the Good News? We may not relate to some of their styles, but truthfully, they are bringing Yeshua to others just as each of us, hopefully, is bringing the presence of our Messiah to our brothers and sisters who do not yet know Him.

Another way of sharing the Good News is living lives in His image, being walking testimonies of Yeshua’s virtuous ways. Seems like a small task compared to the more deliberate examples mentioned above. But in some ways it is the most difficult and is a 24/7 calling. I’m not suggesting it in place of the more obvious ways, just a nudge to be mindful of how each of us shares Him every moment as we choose our reactions to life’s challenges.

When your fuse is lit by another’s annoying behavior, it means acting with kindness and understanding. It means going that extra mile when you’re completely spent, whether it be your time, your resources, your patience. It means fighting so many temptations because of our love of Him and what He wants of us. It means living from a filter of loving each other no matter how unlovable. Living in the ways of Yeshua is actually the overarching conduit to reach others with His message that is to permeate the more intentional choices, for without this foundation, the street preachers’ outreaches are but hollow words.

As they say, different strokes for different folks. Perhaps the more ways out there, the better, for there can never be enough voices to praise Him. And above all, when we honor our Messiah by living to model Him, we not only share the Good News with others, but we are also viscerally reminded ourselves of what it means to live in His light.

Shabbat shalom.

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