I like the term “redemptive conversations.” Sounds friendly. Sounds neighborly; spiritual. What sometimes slows me down is that I worry I might not get it just right and it would turn out to be awkward. We’ve all met members of the God Squad who come across like a 7:00am marketing call. You’re not interested in what he is selling and he is not interested in hearing why you are not interested. Ruthie got a call like that yesterday morning.
Here’s the difference: A redemptive conversation doesn’t necessarily need words. Last week, still shackled by the corona virus lockdown, a pastor friend of ours in Canada, with his wife and kids, prayed for a strategy – and the Lord gave them an idea. They went through the church membership list and came up with the names of forty-four folks who hadn’t been in church since anyone could remember. Kids helping, they baked up a batch of forty-four miniature loaves of homemade bread. They wrapped them, put a personalized love note on each one and piled them in the trunk.
They would pull up in front of the target house, the kids would jump out and leave a loaf of warm bread on the porch. They’d ring the door bell, then run and jump in the car as it tore off down the street. (I confess my buddies and I used to do something like that on Halloween, but with a less noble motive.)
Did they get a lot of friendly responses? A few; not many. But it was all part of a redemptive conversation. You don’t need words to say I love you. You and I learned in third grade that actions speak louder…
So your assignment today – and mine – is to be on the lookout for ways to say, “I love you,” by any means that will create a bond rather than an argument. It’s hard to argue with a kindness. It’s hard to ignore a gift, even a small one. It’s hard to misunderstand a thoughtful gesture. It’s not easy to ignore even a small loaf of homemade bread.
So here is a potential prayer; edit it to fit your circumstances. Dear God, You have been so good to me, You have blessed me beyond measure. You have demonstrated in more ways than I can list how much You love me. Now I want to pass that love on to others. Teach me how to do that. Not so I can show how right I am, but so I can show how awesome You are. Show me how I can show love like You have shown me. May my presence in Your world be redemptive, with words and without. Create in me a heart like Jesus’. Amen
By Don Jacobsen