Witnessing: A practice of faith

Be wise in the way you talk to outsiders, make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may be able to answer everyone who asks. Colossians 4:5-6

Over at Paul Levy’s blogsite How Not to Run A Hospital, he posted this newsy piece about connection. This gentleman is a shoeshine guy at the corner of Sixth Avenue and 47th Street in New York City.  Street vendors often engage in hawking to attract business, but this fellow is a master.  As people walk by, he turns from the current customer’s job, makes eye contract, and offers a pithy phrase that is meant to draw business.

“When are you going to do something about those shoes?
“Don’t you love her?  What about those shoes?”
“Are you selfish?  Think of those shoes.”
When I remarked on how effectively he segmented the market, (i.e., how well he seemed to understand what would work with different folks) he said, “You only have three seconds to make a connection.”
Paul says in his blog it worked on him.  As he walked by, this shoeshine man shook his head from side to side and said, mournfully, “Those shoes . . . .”
I hear Paul telling me in Colossians, “Dawn, segment the market, really look at people, really hear what they are saying: hear beyond the words till you understand them. Then share the Gospel with them in a way they can understand. You do not have much time. I am coming soon.”
Today I link with Ann as she travels with Compassion in Ecquador. Sharing the Gospel with others is a practice of faith. When one knows the answers that can help a world in need it is incumbent on that person to share those answers. Today I pray to really feel the needs of others. I choose to look them in the eye as they pass me so I can really see them and, once seeing, have the courage to greet them at their point of need.
Every new duty calls for more grace than I now possess,
but not more than is found in Thee,
the divine Treasury in whom all fullness dwells….
May my desires be enlarged and my hopes emboldened,
that I may honor Thee by my entire dependency
and the greatness of my expectation.
~The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions by Arthur Bennett  (p. 116)
Only by His grace,
Dawn
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4 comments on “Witnessing: A practice of faith

  1. I love this shoe shine analogy to the sharing of the Hope that is in us!

    “I hear Paul telling me in Colossians, “Dawn, segment the market, really look at people, really hear what they are saying: hear beyond the words till you understand them. Then share the Gospel with them in a way they can understand. You do not have much time. I am coming soon.”

    powerful…Colossians 4:5-6 full of grace… seasoned with salt… ever ready

    Lord make our hearts pure that good may flow from them…

  2. “Only three seconds to make a connection” . . . really speaks to the need to be intentional in our encounters doesn’t it. Praying that I am not so focused on myself at the hospital that I miss opportunities.

  3. Dear Andrea Dawn,

    I don’t think that is possible for you (being so focused on self that you miss opportunities). I am praying for your time there. I hope you are thinking good thoughts.

    Dawn

  4. Dawn, this is wonderful!!! Thank you for it! I am leaving just now to go have ‘coffee’ with an agnostic/atheist newish friend of mine (she isn’t sure what she is).

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