Preachin’ to the Choir. And the Band. And the…

Just the other day, my young son and I were trying to plow through a Cub Scout badge requirement list together.  I tried and tried to have him answer what I considered to be this simple question from the book: How do you practice your faith? He couldn’t tell me.  Even though I reworded it, gave hints, cajoled, and begged, he absolutely could not say one single thing about his beliefs.  Argh!

Now, my child’s silence might not come as a surprise to those of you who know children with a small (?!) stubborn streak or those of you who, like my boy that day, find that they just cannot put their faith into words.  But the thing is: he can.  You can.  We all can.  Here’s how I know.

Last month, both my younger sons and I were driving through the neighborhood when the one I was just telling you about said, “Mom!  Today at recess I got to tell my friend about God!”  Though my heart was bursting with joy, I calmly looked into the rearview mirror and prompted, “Oh yeah?”  His little brother then blurted out, “What did you talk about?”  He replied, “I taught him how to pray and how he shouldn’t use God’s name for no reason.”

Wow. Two great lessons, there! I do kinda wish I could’ve heard the playground conversation.  But I didn’t, and quite frankly, it wasn’t any of my business…. It was theirs, and God’s.  God puts each of us, every day, into situations of evangelization.  He gives us the time, the place, and the audiences – including our knitting groups, tailgating buddies, waitresses, coworkers, spouses, teammates, neighbors, and even people in line at the deli counter.  All the time, God lovingly places us into the lives of people with whom we are uniquely suited to talk.  God even promises to give us the appropriate words, just as He gave the disciples the right words (Strange, foreign-tasting words!) at Pentecost, if we can merely offer to Him the open hearts – and open mouths – He can use.  Are you willing to be His disciple, too?  Take a moment to say this prayer today:  “Holy Spirit, source of all true wisdom, help me to claim and proclaim God’s steadfast love.  Fill me up and pour me out, Lord.  Amen.”

Your Pickle,

Marian Bart