Updated: Sep 16, 2021
I was in the line at Costco and even though it was a weekend and the line up was long, the woman in front of me, had just a couple of items in her cart. We must have made eye contact as I commented that it was a long wait for just a few things to be purchased - and we began a little small talk.
Not too far into making casual conversation about the weather and the busyness of Costco, she looked at me and said “Do you mind if I ask how old you are?”. It thought it was a very odd question, but she seemed nice and maybe I thought she was going to say something kind, so I answered her honestly. At that point she asked me if I was caring for my skin, and I eye-rolled to myself, thinking she was about to attempt to sell me some skin care product from whatever company she happened to be a salesrep for .... but again, I was wrong.
She proceeded to tell me about this amazing experience she had with botox, and recommended her specialist to me, as clearly, I too was in deep need of botox, and she truly had found the elixir of youth that she knew would transform my tired appearance. At first, I thought that there must be some reason for her promoting these treatments, (you know - other than my actual need of a glow-up) like she worked there, or the doctor was her son/daughter etc. But the more she spoke, it just seemed like she was wanting to share something special with me.
I awkwardly joked that I sell Real Estate for a living, so I doubted Botox could make me look less tired or stressed, but she insisted, and said, “Look at me! Don’t I look beautiful? I'm in my 60’s!!!” and you could see she was as proud as a peacock, and truth be told – she DID, in fact, look not a day over 50 ish. She was indeed, very beautiful and I told her as much, and though I felt a bit offended and little lost for words, I could see that she was genuine and seemed to only want to share something that excited her and had made her feel good about herself. Though it was totally inappropriate to tell the 40 something woman, and a total stranger, in line behind you that she looks old and needs a good dose of Botox, I believed her heart was to share her good news with me. I sheepishly paid for my cart full of goods, very conscious of my crows feet and laugh lines, and got out of there quickly, in case she had other self improvements to enlighten me with! (This was pre-covid - there are days now, that I am grateful for a mask to cover up my tiredness and aging!!!)
As I got to the car I sat silently - a little discouraged and feeling old. Now... I'm not sure if you can relate, but I have definitely found myself in situations where I have walked away from a conversation or encounter a little stunned or dumbfounded only to find, a few minutes after the moment had passed me by, that all the clever things I could have said - the witty comebacks, the perfect zinger - suddenly all pop into my head. What I could have responded to her with all "sassy-like” was that I too, knew what SHE needed - and it was Jesus, because I was pretty sure of where she was headed! And then I’d invite her to church - you know, so I too could offer HER something special!! With that, I’d punch the air in enthusiasm over my great comeback - gloatingly satisfied with my retaliation, and unworried if I she was angry because (let's be honest) it wouldn't have shown anyway! But maybe, God purposely delayed that bit of sass and attitude on purpose... to make me think. Because here's how it convicted me: vindication aside, in all seriousness, I should want to tell people about Jesus. I should be as bold as she was about Botox - for Him.
If people are audacious enough to tell someone they need Botox, shouldn’t I be able to say that I have a life changing experience too.. and it's Jesus? How does a woman get so excited by her facial injections that she is compelled to tell strangers in the line at Costco, but I don’t/ can't/ won't readily tell people (even friends) about the life-altering, life-giving experience of Jesus?
If I believe what I say I believe, that would mean that I also know that people who don’t know Jesus, are not living their most abundant life, are not encountering and knowing their creator Father and worse than that - are not going to heaven. Even as I write, "are not going to heaven" I wonder if I that will upset someone and I am tempted to tone it down - and yet - If I believe that, shouldn’t the mandate for me to share the gospel of Jesus be more important than anything? It ought to be more important and exciting than smooth and youthful glowing skin!
If that is so, why am I afraid to step out in faith? How is she bold enough to tell me about her Botox "dealer", but I am worried about offending someone by telling them they need Jesus?
Stepping out in faith seems simple but it's not the easiest thing to do.
My prayer for you and me today, is that we are intentional about our boldness for Christ.
Are you ready to step out? and, if not now, then when?
"And He said unto them, go into the world and preach the gospel to every creative"
- Mark 16:15
"And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following." - Mark 16:20