“But if he knew it wasn’t allowed, then why did he do it?” Just one of the many questions my kids asked about John Short and his decision to share the gospel in North Korea. “Why didn’t he just go to a country where it was safe to tell people about God?”
Honest question from the mouths of small children, probably echoing the thoughts of many adults.
Such questions led to many discussions in our house. Discussions about hearing God’s voice and following God’s will and doing what you know is right even if it’s risky, in John Short’s case, life threatening. Big questions, challenging answers. And as is usually the case when trying to explain things to children you have to simplify it, break it down, examine what you’re saying and in the process you tend to discover what you really believe.
So what’s holding us back? What stops us from sharing God with the people we do life with? Will we be imprisoned or assaulted? Highly unlikely. Will we be laughed at or made to feel small? Maybe, maybe not.
As I waited outside my son’s classroom at home time last week, I couldn’t help but overhear a conversation between two boys, aged about 9. The first boy was folding his hands together like he was praying and saying “I just prayed like this and now I’m a believer! Here, you can do it too”. And he took his friends hands and put them together showing him how. The second boy obediently did as he was shown. They talked together for a while and I couldn’t hear most of it, but as I walked past a few minutes later the conversation had moved on to bikes and homework and what had happened at lunch time.
I couldn’t help but marvel at how easy and natural that whole exchange was. Sandwiched in there between normal boy talk was something of much greater significance, and one can only hope and pray that it bore fruit.
I learnt a lot from listening to those boys. Talking about God and what he means to us can be a natural part of our conversation. It doesn’t need to begin with an eloquent introduction and end with an amazing concluding statement.
We are called to be salt and light in this dark world (Matt 5:13-16). We are to shine God’s light to people around us, to live and behave and talk in such a way that we show God’s goodness to them. Most of us won’t be called to travel across the world to do so, but we are all called to share God with those we do life with.
And I suspect that when it comes to talking about God with non-believers it’s like most things in life, it gets easier the more you do it☺