I had 90 minutes between weddings at a one-star Michelin restaurant/wedding chapel, so I dodged snowflakes and walked down the road to get coffee at a KFC.
A Younger Man
As I sat down with my coffee, a man in his 30s accosted me. He shoved an iPhone into my face and ordered me to put the earphones on. “Listen to this! I live for this man! Without him, I am nothing!” he said in Japanese.
I listened. “Paul McCartney? You live for Paul McCartney?!”
“Yes! Without him, I am nothing! I will do anything for him!”
“Why?” I asked.
“He makes me feel alive. Paul McCartney is my saviour. He is everything to me!” was the reply.
Usually, I would not confront a Japanese person with the Good News straight up, but I felt led to push back. “What will happen when Paul McCartney dies?”
There was a pause. His face fell. “I . . . I don’t know . . . ”
“Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Jesus is alive today. I live for Jesus!” I replied as gently as I could.
He slowly walked away.
An Older Lady
Ten minutes later, an older Japanese lady sat down at the table next to me. I needed to go to the bathroom so I asked if she could keep an eye on my computer bag and winter coat. On returning, I thanked her and continued to drink my coffee.
“Err . . . Excuse me. Can I ask you a question? Do you teach English?”
During our warm and friendly conversation, I learned that this lady had studied English years before at a church on the other side of Sapporo with Pat Schmidt, a now-retired missionary! This lady knew about OMF and that Pat was from South Africa. We had a real connection.
On my way home, after officiating at the second wedding, I thought about these three approaches to my being Jesus’ light, fragrance and “living letter.”
- The wedding ceremonies and messages were clear and direct. I spoke in context.
- The encounter with the man was dramatic, short and left me rather breathless.
- My time with the lady was delightful. Neither of us could not believe the “coincidence!”
Again, I realized the importance of “being” in the moment, of speaking and reacting with Spirit-led comments. What an encouragement it is that we do not have to “push.” We only need to be aware of what Jesus is doing and be his Presence/Word to those to whom he leads us.
By Dale, an OMF missionary
Will you pray for Japan?
- For all Jesus followers to be aware of the opportunities that Jesus gives us.
- That we may be courageous and loving as we shine for the King.
- That Christians may encourage each other as we tell of how God is at work in and through us.