Please Bother Me

So, yesterday I lied to get out of an uncomfortable situation. Oh, let’s face it; every time I am talking to a stranger, it’s uncomfortable.

Someone at the mall was trying to sell me something, and I knew it was coming, so I made the excuse that I had to leave, and I hinted at the fact that I would return, but I knew that I wouldn’t.

What am I supposed to do? So, my wife says, “You just lied back there.” She called me on it, even though SHE was the one who put me in the situation in the first place. I’ve had time to mull it over in my head, and I still don’t know what I should have done …

Thank you but I am not interested. That should have been my response, right? That’s what I should say when the telemarketer calls, when the people outside the grocery store are waving flyers at me, when the scouts are at the door with cookies. Thank you, but I am not interested. To me … even though that is closer to the truth, it sounds more mean-spirited.

I mean, am I really not even interested? Not in the least?

I see people who just say, “No thank you,” and walk away. Head down, eyes affixed to something off in the distance. But there is something behind those two words that still comes across as “Don’t bother me.”

Maybe, if we are going to be truly “honest,” we should speak the truth.

“Care to sign a petition?” “Don’t bother me.”

GAH! That sounds horrible! I don’t want to sound like an ogre even if it is what I am thinking. So what does that leave me with?

I either tell a lie, to save the feelings of people that I come in contact with, or I change the truth; I change my perspective of strangers who approach me on the street or in the store. Yes, I have places to be and things to do; we all do. This world has created a rush-rush lifestyle, where we all get more done in a day. But we need to stop and talk to people. That is what Christ did.

Jesus was on His way to heal the soldier’s daughter, but a woman on the road stopped Him (Matthew 9:18-26). The blind man cried out to Jesus as He passed by on the way to town; the crowd rebuked him, but Jesus called him forward (Mark 10:46-52). Children were trying to see Jesus, and the disciples tried to stop them, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me” (Matthew 19:13-14). Jesus was walking into town as a funeral procession was walking out. Jesus stopped what He was doing to touch a dead man and restore a life (Luke 7:11-17).

I hear my pastor and the books I read calling me to witness, to be an example of Christ to a lost world. My general response is, “I don’t know any nonChristians.”

Of course I don’t! I keep pushing those people away. When I am in a hurry, when I can’t be bothered … am I missing out on being the Christian that I have been practicing to be? Is Jesus sending lost people my way, and am I casting them aside?

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I can’t see Jesus pushing store clerks aside commenting, “Get out of my way. I have to be in Jerusalem in, like, 20 minutes!”

I don’t know any nonChristians because my life has been too busy to see them. My eyes are always affixed on my goals and my destinations, rather than on those of Christ. Lord, open my eyes. Help me to see the people you want in my life.

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