You know when sometimes you have experiences, and then later you realize how much that experience comes in handy as a teaching illustration? This was one of those times.
Yesterday I was at SM Megamall with Windy, attending a seminar. We just had lunch at the Food Court and were making our way back to the Megatrade Center at the fifth floor.
Then we saw Ramila. She was crying, running around in circles. She was evidently, undeniably lost.
Windy and I approached her. Did you lose your mom? She tearfully nodded yes. (Just a side-comment: it surprised me that none of the other adults took responsibility. She was so obviously in distress I can’t imagine how they could possibly ignore her! Not judging, just an observation.)
Thankfully a security guard was walking by, and he immediately led us to the Costumer Service area. They will broadcast a memo to the entire building, he said. Just wait here, he said.
“So what do we do?” I asked Windy. I was actually thinking, maybe I’d just stay with the kid until her mom arrives.
“Well, we have a seminar to attend to, and we’re already late,” Windy said. “And anyway, this place is safe. There are guards all around.”
So we both turned to Ramila and gave her one final reassurance. “Don’t be afraid, your mom will come.”
Then we left. Later, when I exited the Megatrade Center, I returned to the Costumer Service area just to check if Ramila’s mom finally picked her up. Affirmative. Phew.
I was tasked to facilitate today’s lesson for our discipleship group on the topic of Witnessing. I was preparing for the lesson and I was reflecting specifically on “the lost”, and I suddenly remembered lost little Ramila…
Then I had a sudden eureka moment: My experience with her is the perfect illustration of pre-evangelism or of being a Cojourner! Because Pre-evangelism / Cojourner is bringing people one step closer to Christ. I brought Ramila one step closer to her mom. I didn’t actually physically bring her to her mom, but I helped her get to her mom. Gets? Well, maybe not a perfect illustration.
But here are more thoughts about the experience.
We call non-Christians lost people. But the truth is: a lot of them don’t feel lost. They just don’t. They go happily about, perfectly content (or so it seems) with what they have and the path and place they are in.
Most Christians are only equipped to deal with lost little Ramilas, those people crying and acutely aware of their lostness. Most Christians actually only expect lost little Ramilas. But again, how about those who don’t know or feel they are lost? There are a lot of them out there.
So, as a Christian with a firm, unwavering belief and confidence in the Bible and what it says, how do you deal with that? We know God commissioned us to preach the Gospel and make disciples. But they won’t even listen! Deal with it. No, seriously, if we are to be effective witnesses, we HAVE to Deal. With. It.
And we can deal with it. And we are dealing with it, at least little by little.
The matter of how we can deal with it would require a far lengthier blog post than this one. Perhaps I’ll try writing one someday, or make a series of posts, but there are numerous excellent books out there on the topic, particularly Norman Geisler and David Geisler’s Conversational Evangelism book. Here in the Philippines, OMF Lit just recently reprinted it, and you can also buy it online.
Anyway, yes. We need to reach the lost, even if they don’t feel they are, even if they don’t think they are. Especially if they don’t think they are.