A warm welcome to Annie from What She Saw, sharing her heart on living out the gospel...
Four months ago, I was flying the eight hours home from Amsterdam, after an hour's flight from Madrid, where I spent a week teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) as part of a mission trip with my home church.
For the past three months, I've been working as a sales associate at a major national retailer, after graduating from a state university with a degree in English and history, without certifying to teach.
I grew up going to public school in a very diverse and consequently fairly liberal environment. I learned quickly that what speaks more than talking about Jesus is living like Him. And in high school, one of my youth group leaders explained discipling as pushing everyone closer to Jesus, whether they're a Christian or not, in everything you do and say. And that's stuck with me ever since.
So when I went to Spain, I was familiar with the idea of pre-evangelism and relationship building, even if I'd never heard it expressed in those terms. And I began to see, more than I ever had before, how to live gospel.
When the very act of teaching someone how to pronounce a word properly - and doing so patiently - becomes a way by which you can demonstrate Jesus, you begin to have a very different idea of gospel. Instead of the good news just meaning that Jesus died for our sins and rose again, it means He is here, now, with us.
Isn't that why the angel said He should be called Immanuel? Because God is no longer just God, but God with us.
I've learned this applies to working as a sales associate, too. I was wondering the other day what I was doing with my life, essentially, working just barely over minimum wage when I have a whole college degree sitting around, waiting to be used.
And then I remembered small prayers I'd offered up all summer: God, I just want to help people, and realized I was right where I had asked to be.
Because sometimes helping a teenager find the perfect shoes or helping a woman decide between two skirts isn't just helping people make decisions about clothes. Maybe sometimes it's helping them find grace for the day. Maybe sometimes it's helping them decide between a smile or a frown.
Maybe sometimes it's pointing out God with us, in this moment, whether they know what you're doing or not. And that opportunity, I think, is gospel enough.