Your Thoughts: The Right Words

I’m a window cleaner. Not really by choice, but because for the last 3+ years, it’s what I’ve been given for provision.

That said, I am not really “built” to be a window cleaner. My body has responded to the repetition of window cleaning with hearty doses of pain, pretty much all the time. As a result, I actually have more compassion for people who walk around in constant pain.

What’s this have to do with the right words?

Well, I often strike up conversations with people while out doing window cleaning accounts. Today I saw a beverage distributor, a young, muscular guy with tattoos and an earring. He was unloading shrink wrapped packs of cans.

I said, “hey, does your back ever really hurt from all that lifting?” I figured suffering was a commonality between us. He said, “all the time,” then started telling me his life story.

bike-black-and-white-wallpaper

Photo credit: www.dirtbikeworld.net

Well, the most significant part of it to him, that is: motorbike racing. He had been professionally racing bikes his whole life and as a result, had crashed many times and broken many bones. The job he did was the only one he could really get with no education. Despite his injuries and constant pain (exacerbated by the job!), he told me with great enthusiasm that he continues to race to this day.

I wanted to talk to him about the Lord, but I struggled with the words. My mind doesn’t go as fast as a racing motorbike; I process information slowly. I have to think about things a long time. Then the opportunity passes.

What question could I have asked this guy to open a door to talking about Christ? I’m interested to hear your input, thoughts, experiences you have had.

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4 thoughts on “Your Thoughts: The Right Words

  1. I’m the same way. I think I have to pray for God to develop my verbal expression. I’m better at writing notes and letters to people than I am at sharing verbally. Sorry that I didn’t really have a good contribution.

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    • Your contribution is just great! It’s encouraging to know I’m not the only one like this – I feel like I have more time to reflect, pray, and think more completely with people online than in person. I was raised to be able to handle myself in any social situation, so I’m okay there, it’s not like I am socially crippled or anything lol. But personality-wise, I feel like God has shaped me (and sounds like you, too!) in different ways than people who are at full ease with in -person interaction. And even if others *don’t* get that, it’s okay because I trust Him to use me as He has made me.

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  2. “You missed a spot!”
    When I washed windows professionally, I heard that one a lot. Did it for a time in Michigan and then again in Seattle when I moved there.
    I found your post quite thought provoking, almost rhetorical. I do not know I could have done it any differently. I think what is meant to be will always find a way.
    In hindsight, which is 20/20 as they say, it is a lot easier to come up with solutions that seem aloof when we feel that they are most needed.
    When it comes to being fired up to evangelize, it is possible that those flames are burning high at some times, say after a particularly well-done sermon, while at other times, like on a Friday afternoon after a week of laboring at a tough job, those flames might be more akin to those that are barely perceptible among the realm of the coals at ground level.
    While your compassion was real and you felt the heat from those coals, there just wasn’t enough flame to do the job in the vanishing moment.
    I am no evangelist personally, so I am just sort of speculating here, but it would seem that the premise of your conversation–being on pain–it is not an incorrect way to minister to people, even though pain is the antithesis of what we trust will be the reward to the souls that find their peace and rest in the Lord Jesus Christ.
    When time allows, which the fast-paced world hardly ever does, it may eventually become possible for the conversation to turn 180 degrees, from the relentless presence of pain to the complete lack of it.
    I cannot see anything but that you are on the right path to leading souls to Christ.
    Do not be discouraged or overwhelmed by pain or weakness, but let those things be turned around for good in due season.

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    • Yes – and “after you’re done here, you can come to my house,” “can you do my car windshield after?” and so on. lol

      You’re right in saying that I was seeking commonality and rapport by starting with what looked obvious to me: pain. What came out was the motorbiking (the real source of the pain).

      It’s true that in this case we began our conversation outside, but both of us then had to go inside where there was much activity and running around. Not the most conducive place to then say, so with all this motorbike riding, are you afraid to die? If not, then you must be pretty confident of where you’re going afterwards. Or something like that. But it didn’t materialize sadly.

      Thanks for your comments, I thought what you said in the compassion and coals imagery was interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

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