I’m a fixer … so naturally I like to fix things. And when I can’t, I go bonkers.
In January, I came face-to-face with this problematic character trait on a dusty city street outside of a hard-hearted atheist’s home.
If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. –Matthew 10:14
Honestly, I don’t like these words.
They remind me there will be times the Message of redemption and forgiveness rushing from my lips won’t “fix” someone for eternity.
And I’m hit with the truth that no fruit produced from my labor is on account of my efforts. Fruit bursts forth only through the timely nourishment of the Vine … apart from Me you can do nothing (John 15:5).
These moments are sobering reminders of my own dependance on Christ to reap any measure of harvest. I’m reminded that I’m not the fixer of souls … only God has the power to breathe life into dry bones.
My American self wanted to witness this man’s calloused soul melt like a stick of butter at the revelation at God’s great love.
But that didn’t happen. Instead, he graciously welcomed me into his home, listened to the Story I shared, and respectfully discredited it as true.
To paraphrase his response: I respect that you believe in God, but I’m an atheists. I don’t need this faith in my life.
I so desperately wanted to shake him and make him understand the depth of his depravity and need for Jesus. But my translator nudged me, indicating it was time to move on to the next home.
Sensing my disappointment, the words of Jesus dripped from the lips of my translator and church worker … shake the dust off your feet.
Sometimes that’s what we’re called to … simple contentment in faithfully sharing the life-giving message of Christ and the willingness to move forward without reaping the joyful harvest.
I can’t fix this man, or any man for that matter. Fortunately, there’s One who is patient and more than able to fix the stoniest of people.