The Boldness of Strangers

"Look, I'm not sending you to a people who speak a hard-to-learn language with words you can hardly pronounce.  If I had sent you to such people, their ears would have perked up and they would have listened immediately." (Ezekiel 3:5-6, Message)

It's no secret I've wanted to be a missionary for a long time.  In fact, going into Social Work was the closest I felt I could get to sharing God's love while still earning a paycheck to chip away at my student loans.  Always, though, the ultimate goal was "missions."  

The other day, during a morning snuggle session with my wise best friend Joelle, she called me out.  That's what best friends are for, right?  To call you out on your bologna (were this not already a primarily Christian-themed blog, I may have used another word there).  "Natalie, what is it about missions that appeals to you?"

I reflected on my many wonderful Mexico trips, rambling on about how every moment of every day was intentional.  Purposeful.  Nothing was wasted.  Every ounce of me was used for the glory of God.  

And do you know what she said?  That dear, sweet friend of mine, she said, "You're an agent of God no matter where you are.  We are called to reflect His love everywhere."

Why is it so much easier to be bold with strangers?  Why is it so much more comfortable for me to share the Gospel to those whom I only know through a context of Service?  It's like the mere act of translation causes me to feel more purposeful... but why?

This passage in Ezekiel caught my eye today for that very reason.  God didn't call Ezekiel to a faraway land where he would be seen as a novelty.  No, God called him to be a missionary to his own people. 

Professional boundaries and social norms limit my ability to speak freely of the redemption brought through Christ.  But a service of love is always possible.  I may not always be able to say it, but I can always show it.  Intentionally.  Purposefully.  With every ounce of my being.

I know this will take time.  I am only human.  I am not perfect.  But I'm growing and I'm learning that whether I'm in Mexico, Peru, Uganda, or Portland, my life still has the same purpose: I will bring Him glory.

P.S. No offense, God, but the book of Ezekiel kind of makes You look crazy.  I'm gonna need someone with far more Biblical knowledge to help me decipher this one.


Carol J. Brown said…
Joelle is a blessing all by herself.
Joelle said…
Thanks Aunt Carol. Natalie, I think in a way it takes more bravery and courage to "be a missionary" in your own town than it does in a foreign country. Because whatever you say to those people, and however you live, they see that and they remember you. But there is a bravery inside of you that God is just waiting to see come out.
Vanessa's Dad said…
U R the Apple of God's eye. He is very pleased with you. And, He will explain Ezekiel all you need.

Remember the expression: "Sometimes, more is caught than taught"?

It applies well to parenting AND certainly to Christian witness.

We are currently in Yosemite Park. Everything around us is a testament to God's magesty!