Occasionally, I will be on the subway when a street preacher will come on board, usually around rush hour, when everyone is packed tightly together. The person will start speaking very loudly and you can follow everyone as their heads turn to look. And just as quickly, you can sense a quiet but very real collective groan when they realize what is going on. We are all going to be preached at, as it were, and the Gospel can sound downright threatening!
But I also find myself admiring this subway evangelist. He or she doesn’t seem bothered that people often make jokes at their expense or seem visibly annoyed at his or her presence. I may not agree with the theology behind the message but I am impressed at how the Spirit has moved the person to have the confidence to share their gospel conviction—right out in public.
“Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ.”
And as I sit there, annoyed, turning up the volume on my IPod, cringing a bit at every word, I am reminded that this is my brother/sister in Christ and yet they embarrass me. But then I wonder who Jesus would think is the better witness? And I find that maybe the one who I’m really embarrassed by is me.