Got this from a couple in Portland area, and it just shows how the simplest things can open some amazing doors:
We’ve been having some nice hot weather and this week several days running over 100. We live in just about the exact center of our community (as the map is laid out) and right beside the city pool so we’ve had lots of foot and car traffic (lots of kids which we love!). Several days ago my husband was having one of his conversations with God.
Father said, “Why don’t you have some cold drinks out front there for people?”
After sharing this little interaction with me he headed to the store before work and bought inexpensive pop and water and big bags of ice and arranged them in our two coolers out by the street. He had me make signs in both English and Spanish: FREE – Ice Cold Drinks. It seems such a silly, small thing and the way people are so fearful we wondered if we’d have any takers. You cannot imagine how much fun we have had – people of all ages but especially the kids of course – have LOVED it and been so thankful.
Many seem taken aback, uncertain, wondering why and I’m sure what our “agenda” is. How very fun to offer a “cup of cold water” to our neighbors with no strings attached – just a desire to bless and love on ’em. To long and hope for them to someday drink from the well of God’s love that never stops refreshing. It’s something we’ll probably only do when the heat is extreme.
And I think the “word” my husband received goes very deep for him spiritually but the gesture has really broken the ice around here. People suddenly are looking us in the eye when they pass, smiling, saying “hello”, chatting. Our small world is suddenly breaking wide open. What you said is true – each day we wonder, “So what’s gonna happen today Father? What will You do, what will we see and experience?” That feeling we had as little children, a feeling we’d all but forgotten, waking up expectantly, anxious only to get up and greet the day and embrace all the exciting things that are waiting for us!
And to think that the couple doing this is also going through some serious cancer treatment with their adult son and helping care for him and his family. Real ministry isn’t necessarily more work to fulfill, sometimes it can be a playful distraction in an otherwise stressful life.
You know what I love about this, the recapturing of simplicity, of loving what’s before you, not trying to create a ministry If they had put up a sign that said Cold Drinks for Jesus, it would have ruined everything, wouldn’t it? People would have seen it just as a tactic to engage a conversion conversation. I love that they just gave out what God asked, and are letting the growing friendships and ‘community’ around them grow naturally.
That’s how the kingdom spreads, like that very small mustard seed that spawns a tree so large others can nest in its branches. Love whomever God puts before you on a given day. Follow his nudges in caring for people, not to get a chance to pump them with the Gospel, but simply because they are people God cares about. Watch people light up with delight and watch your own heart recapture that childlike spirit that sees each day as an adventure in grace!
When friendship grows you will most likely get a chance to share your faith, but then it will be because you really care about them, not because you manipulate a moment so yu can convert them. One approach opens doors wide, the other slams them shut before people even have a chance to know the God you love.