Monday, April 05, 2004
It's interesting to see how God puts us in situations we never could have foreseen, but which, in hindsight, make perfect sense. Right now, I'm meeting with a guy who is very reserved, and comes from a fairly similar church background as mine. He's an Episcopalian, but of the sort that never really had a lot of the stuff sink in. He's also an often-taciturn country boy (he called himself a redneck), who usually listens but occasionally can be extremely blunt, especially when he thinks other people are full of it. He told me this evening that he's glad the two of us are meeting together, because I actually seem to understand where he's coming from on a lot of issues.
You may remember that a few weeks ago, I mentioned that I had some disagreements with others in Navigators, and with much of Evangelicaldom in general, though not rising anywhere close to level of breaking fellowship. Well, my friend's comment made me realize: so far as I know, there's only one other guy in Nav leadership here who even might have the sort of attitude and viewpoint to connect with my friend. This is not a reflection on the quality of the Nav leaders, but rather a realization that I'm one of the very few people with the right mix of attributes to connect with this guy. Not every task requires a hammer or flathead screwdriver; sometimes you need a corkscrew or staple remover (yes, I'm a tool).
For a brief second, after I'd considered how unique my position is, the thought popped into my head that the Navs were lucky to have me. However, about half of a millisecond later, it occurred to me that they're also lucky to have my study co-leader, our director, and, as the thoughts cascaded, every single person involved. It's not that I'm a special and unique person possessing talents not available (or at least much so), but that every person is that way. For this one task, I'm the right fit. Another problem might be better solved if "Joey" or "Beth" were the one confronting it. God doesn't give us more than we can bear. This applies to ministry as well as individuals, I think. For some people, Navigators may be exactly what is needed to help them out. We're a strong organization, but the fact is that we're not perfect. For other people, it might be Impact or Campus Crusade, the United Methodist or Assemblies of God churches, or just a believer on their hall or at work.
This also has implications for a girl I know (no, not a romantic interest or anything like that). She says she's a Christian, she goes to church, and she's big into the Christian subculture (yes, subculture; we ought to be a counterculture). However, she's seeing a guy whom her parents strongly dislike (perhaps with reason and perhaps not; that's not so much my concern) and doesn't really read her Bible or even know what's in it. Most of what she knows she extracts from what a friend of hers says (I don't know the friend very well, but she seems solid, though at a school far away), and she seems to pick and choose from that. I'm also in a unique position to talk to her, but there's a very real risk that if I confront her then I'll be equated with her parents and essentially permanently ignored. What concerns me is firstly that she thinks that she's a Christian but doesn't seem to know all that much about what it means, and secondly that whether or not she does know, she seems to be having some serious trouble living it out. I don't know what to do, but it's looking like I'm going to have to sit her down and have a Talk with her. I don't want to go Jonathan Edwards on her, but I really feel like she needs to be shocked into action with evidence directly from the Bible. Let's hope that it works, and that I don't muff it up (God's will is going to get done somehow, but if it's meant to work through me, I don't want to mess it up due to carelessness).