"Always be prepared to give a defense for the hope you have in Christ."
"Preach the gospel at all times. Use words when necessary."
-St. Francis of Assisi
I have been confronted daily with the opportunity to reveal to an interested party, in 120 seconds or less, why I live and love the way I do. Yesterday it was during an airport layover, today it was in a coffee shop, and it really got me thinking: I need to have an answer prepared. Or rather, I need to learn how to get out of the way of the Holy Spirit when He's trying to work.
There are a thousand opportunities every day to bring Christ to a world searching for love. Are you prepared to offer an explanation for your hope? I'm not talking a full-on testimony here, but rather, a succinct and sincere synopsis of why you live the way you do. I think the most effective case for Christ is in lived Christianity. It's also the most deterrent, as any casual observer of human nature can attest to. But shouldn't there be something just a little, I don't know, different, about you, something that catches people's attention, even if only for the oddity?
So the next time you're in line in the grocery store, riding the metro, or simply chilling in a coffee shop, consider this: you are living a marked life. I remember the first time my college roommate and I realized that our days of compartmentalized Christianity were over, observing that our behavior at the bar the night before just might be in some way connected to our distraction or disinterest at Mass the next morning. Even more unsettling was the realization that our credibility as followers of Christ, was, in fact, underwritten by our day to day lives. I make Him look good. Or bad. My shortness of temper, my generosity of spirit, my lack of patience in traffic... these are all opportunities, missions I'm charged with daily, opportunities to do His work.
And when necessary, to use words.