Ok, ok, my apologies for putting a song in your head that might be stuck there for the next day or two. But I have a good reason. I’m learning something new and I’d like to share it with you. (And for those of you who follow what I post more frequently there is a P.S. at the end that I think will interest you).
A little background… my family and I are missionaries in Thailand. The first Christian missionaries came here hundreds of years ago, but interestingly enough there are about 0.5 – 1.5% Christians in the country. That is one of the lowest percentages in any nation in the world, even including nations that are hostile to Christianity (which Thailand isn’t).
So why is that the case and “what does love got to do with it”? Here is the short answer I’ve found out.
Many of us working here in Thailand as missionaries have discovered this secret. Love changes everything. To take the time to love someone is often something a Thai person (or for that matter anyone in the world) has never experienced from a stranger. To care enough to stop; to care enough to listen; to care enough to do.
We’ve seen some examples, such as children from broken homes finding hope, people and families who knew only pain experiencing love. Each of these situations has prompted this question “Why would you, who don’t know me, do this?” And when the answer is “Love” then often the next question is “How can I have that kind of love?”
This isn’t about proselytizing, witnessing or making converts. This is about loving people – and this can be done anywhere around the world. (I’ll include this disclaimer – if you’re doing it for a reason other than Love, people will quickly realize it’s not unconditional and therefore not worth their time or interest).
So I encourage you – love beyond your comfort zone. Bless someone just because. And as you continue to do that see how many people stop to ask you about it!
P.S. – If you’ve read this far I want to follow up with a small side of something else. I had a post ready for March. Ready early in fact. The story was about someone in the midst of finding hope. They hadn’t arrived, but were on their way. However, after some discussion with our team I tabled the story – possibly forever. To put it as succinctly as I can… which is more important: Communicating an experience or defending a person’s privacy and dignity? If you’d like to know more please see my wife’s blog, which details the ins and outs entitled “To Share or Not to Share”: http://jam-livinglife.blogspot.com/
And while I’m prattling away (‘cause hey, you can do that when writing!) I’m seriously considering a fun post of some life stories and learning for May. A highlight would be waiting for our internet to get fixed for the past 3 days… and why the problem really was my fault 🙂