I tend to be an introvert. I really am content to hide in my room, with a good book and a cup of coffee. Maybe some quiet music. I don't need to interact with anyone. That's how God created me.
But God wants me to step out of that comfort zone...
and sometimes I fight that command.
Recently, we were visiting Pine Hill. There are very few foreigners who enter this small community because it's basically the end of the road. You don't just happen by it. You don't drive through it. You go there because you plan to go there. Consequently, when we're there, we attract a lot of attention. People are curious. Why are we there?
And then they want to look at our children, or touch them. Even the children from the town are curious. They follow us around. Some times, I feel like the Pied Piper, leading the crowd down the street. One time, we had at least 20 children walking with us.
With four children, sometimes the kids and I sit in the car while Clay goes in to the store to buy a snack. And if you know my very non-introverted husband, it is not a quick stop! It doesn't matter if the windows are up or down. People stop and stare through the windows at the kids. If the windows are open, they reach through and touch the kids. Sometimes they give them candy or a toy.
I often find myself annoyed while I sit there. Can't these people just leave us alone?! I mean, really! We're inside our car. In the States, you would never walk up to a car full of strangers and reach in and touch their children! And you certainly wouldn't hand a child candy without asking the parent if it was okay!
But what I realized is that when the kids and I get out of the car and talk to the people crowding around, we start to build a relationship. We're no longer the latest zoo exhibit. We're people who like to talk, play and laugh. And that's exactly where God wants me to be! He doesn't want me to hide. He wants me to get out and share BOLDLY about HIS love. I also realize that I'm not annoyed. I enjoy being with the people!
Pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth,
to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel,
for which I am an ambassador in chains;
that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.