Regular readers know that I take on riders at the bus stop each morning, enabling a fast commute in the high-occupancy lane to downtown Houston. Recent riders have included two Russian women, who chattered the whole trip in Russian, and a Buddhist lady from Thailand. The Russians and I conversed briefly (in English) about President Putin and their country’s future. They despaired of progress, declaring all politicians to be crooks. I expressed my opinion that only Jesus Christ could give Russian people hope and strong character. The ladies responded with stone silence.
The Thai Buddhist lady assured me that she was not hostile to Christianity, and that she knew that Christians believed we must “invite Jesus into our hearts.” She had no problem with that, she said, so long as she could invite other great teachers in as well. I observed that Jesus didn’t mind competition in areas he shared with others — great teachers, wise men — but that he alone claimed to be God’s Son and the Savior from sin and death. Only Jesus, I noted, was raised from the dead, vindicating his exclusive claims.
I am still trying to learn to share Jesus Christ with others, including strangers. Along the way, I am learning several other things as well. There are no glib answers, no all-purpose presentations. I cannot “convert” anyone by my own skill, wisdom or cleverness. Only God can touch hearts and draw people to himself. Perhaps my best contribution will be a kind spirit and respectful manner, a genuine interest in others, and an appropriate comment as God gives opportunity, relying on him to use it as he sees fit.