Last week I went to my senpei’s new dojo. The central dojo is opening a branch closer to my home, but I’ll still have to go to the old dojo for a while because of my work schedule.
There were just a few of us – the teacher and 3 students – and after class we hung out in the tea house attached to the gym where we’re renting space. It was good. This time I said nothing about Jesus. I just was with them, doing what they did the way they did it in the spaces they do it in. We were us – not me and them. Four Aikidoka at a table laughing at each other and talking about fighting. It was good. And I didn’t feel lonely, which is a rare bonus.
I have little patience for relationship-evangelism, where you hang out with people for a year and a half and never get around to actually talking about Jesus. There is a word for that kind of witness – cowardice. If Jesus is your whole life, then open your mouth. You can see how strongly I feel about that.
I also don’t hold a really high appreciation for cramming the message into every margin and making awkward connections that make the message unwelcome and the messenger into a gospel-salesman.”Is this seat taken? Thanks. Yeah, I saw on the news that several people died in that tornado last week. Tell me, if you were to die today, do you know where you’d go?” I don’t like that. I’m not saying it’s bad. I’m just saying I don’t like it. But I think I respect it more than the let-them-see-my-life-and-never-say-a-word approach.
But still, not saying anything last week was just right. It was just right because they get plenty of word from me, as well. The Word (not the vague idea or the suspicion that something good is going on, but the Word) was becoming flesh and really dwelling with them. And I’m down with that.