And during the sermon, I kept thinking of my conversational English partner; we'll call her P. P is from India, here with her husband as he does post-doc work, and raising their first baby. Their daughter is beautiful--a one-year old with a full head of thick, dark hair and a sweet, shy smile.
Pookie and I head over there every week to help P practice her English just by talking about life and babies and food mostly. We prayed together once when she had to go back to India for a season unexpectedly, but otherwise I've been pretty quiet about Jesus...beyond mentioning Bible study or what we did at church.
After hearing that sermon, I had a whole little speech mapped out. It wasn't pushy, it wasn't loud, but it was heartfelt and sincere. I prayed and prayed as I prepared a few utensils and extra ingredients to take to P's house to teach her to make carrot cake.
I waited and waited for the right moment to give my spiel, but it wasn't coming the way I had expected; the conversation never fell where I wanted. And then when it got close...I knew that speaking out in just that way would have been forced.
I didn't feel the Spirit lead, so I stayed quiet. And this quote from Jamie the Very Worst Missionary came to mind:
If there is one thing I’ve learned about loving people in the last five years, it’s that nobody wants to be featured as a prayer point in your newsletter. Nobody wants your unsolicited, but loving Christian counsel. Nobody wants your corny Bible tract.
Indeed, nobody wants to be your pet-project for Jesus.
And as I stood in P's tiny student-apartment kitchen, measuring carrots and laughing at our daughters' antics, I knew that it wasn't the day to speak; it was a day just to love.
I left my hand mixer with P, promising that I had one at home and this was just an extra, so please keep it.
I left knowing that P is my friend, and I love her and her family.
I left knowing that I need to be ready to share about Jesus naturally--not because I've prepared a speech but because I really have no greater joy than in Him.
And I left a friend feeling my love...and that's a good step.