One of the many thing I love about going for a walk in the country listening to the bird choir. Usually this consists of many different types of birds; but not necessarily being a bird enthusiast, I have no idea which voice belongs to which feathered friend. The only sure thing in my mind is that the choir serenading me is composed of many beautiful voices, all blending together in giving praise to our Father.
When I left the house this morning, however, I only heard one tiny voice; and it wasn’t a loud or pretty one, either. Rather, it was a single “chip” repeated over and over.
Further investigation revealed that the singer was a common house sparrow, such as the one pictured above, and I couldn’t help thinking with a smile that perhaps this particular bird should just keep its little beak shut. After all, when you don’t have any talent, there is no sense in announcing it to the world!
As I continued on my walk, I was delighted when the bird choir started up their morning song. Then, for perhaps the first time ever, I began to hear individual bird voices. Some were loud and shrill, others were quiet; some contained trills and chatter, others were nothing but a single “chip”…Wait a minute! I knew that voice! It belonged to the house sparrow on my front lawn!
Though that little voice hadn’t been exactly beautiful when it was the only one, it contributed to the overall bird choir like quiet symbols contribute to an orchestra. In fact, when the voices of many other house sparrows blended together, their little “chips” produced quite a powerful punch!
It all made me think. You see, I’m kind of a shy introvert. I love the Lord, I love my fellow mankind, and I want very much to be a powerful witness. But my “voice” is weak, and it’s not very pretty. I don’t feel like I contribute much to world evangelism because I can never seem be bold about my witnessing. In fact, I have to admit that I am often tempted to not “sing” at all. Why not let those with beautiful witnessing “voices” take the lead? Why not the powerful preachers, the extroverts, and any others who don’t mind being singled out or being the centre of attention? After all, their witness is far more powerful than mine could ever be, and they attract a lot more attention than I could–or even would want–to do!
But what about that tiny house sparrow and its rather unimpressive “chip”? The bird choir wouldn’t be the same without its tiny contribution…
Is it the same with me? Is God telling me that each time I shyly say, “God bless you” to a store clerk, it makes a difference? Is God showing me that when I pray for world evangelism, it contributes? Is God helping me to understand that reaching out to help people provides needed rhythm in the grand scheme of world evangelism? And what about my writing? Is it encouraging and empowering those who are bolder than I?
The answer is yes, yes, yes and yes! We don’t have to be big, powerful teachers or pastors to witness for the Lord. Hey! We don’t even have to be bold or extraverted! We only need to let Jesus’ light shine through us, and when we do, our little “chip” will be incorporated into the overall fabric of evangelism in such a beautiful way that it becomes very clear the gospel wouldn’t go forward the same way without it.
Think about that the next time you purchase something at the grocery store or stop to pay toll on the road. Why not leave the attendants with the words, “God bless you”? And if you don’t feel comfortable saying something to someone, than pray for that person. Send out encouraging emails and facebook messages. Sing songs of praise at work (and don’t do it only when no one is around)! Reach out with a smile and a helping hand. Don’t be afraid to leave people with a word of encouragement. Each time you do, then just like that house sparrow, you will be contributing to the overall “choir” of evangelism in a way that would be sorely missed.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the farthest parts of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 NET)
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, andScriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, withAnswers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.