My daughter was recently on a London underground train. It was busy but not packed so she managed to get a seat. Sitting diagonally from her was a lady, probably in her sixties, dressed in a smart suit. The suit was orange, bright orange. The woman was holding a coat. It too was orange, bright orange. My daughter thought little of it.
A man probably in his thirties got on the train and got a seat opposite this lady.
Then it happened.
He spoke to her.
“Can I just say you are very orange.”
It was like time should still. Everyone froze. Everyone held their breath.
She looked up, stunned and said “Don’t you like it?”
“Oh yes. But you are very orange.”
Speaking to strangers on trains in London.
It is not the done thing.
A recent article someone alerted me to in the Telegraph online talked about how Christianity in the UK is sleeping not dying and what is needed to wake it up is evangelism:
“Speak up. Tell people about your beliefs. At the centre of the faith is the truth that Jesus died and rose from death to herald a new era. The power of the Good News is so great that it cannot fail to win converts. Time to share it.”
But so often it is not the done thing by us as individuals and as churches. We don’t want to offend anyone. We are concerned how people might react. We are not confident. It is easier to do good things then talk about the good news. I am usually more of a carrot person than a stick person when it comes to motivation but Jesus does say in Mark 8 v 38:
“If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
So let’s make talking to people about Jesus the done thing.
P.S. to the train story:
People in the train did smile and laugh at this point out of a sense of amusement and probably embarrassment at this breaking of train etiquette. My daughter caught the eye of the lady opposite her and they both smiled.
Then it happened.
She spoke to my daughter.
“Can I have a piece of your chocolate please?”
My daughter did not know what to say but being very well brought up she gave her a piece of her chocolate that she was eating – her last piece.
Definitely not the done thing.
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