Recently I've met a woman who loves Jesus. It's not that one knows she loves Jesus just because of her demeanor. No, when one is with her you pick up very quickly that Jesus is in every intake and exhale of breath. Of course, the fact that she is totally unembarrassed to yell, "JESUS!" at any given time while walking down the street is also a good indication!
The other day, while having lunch together, I asked her if she would like to pray for us and jokingly said, "but do it quietly." I've been thinking since that time, especially after we have told several people the story, how often we live out our lives for Jesus, "quietly."
Jesus, of course, did not live out his life quietly. Even as an adolescent he was not intimidated by the religious scholars but was confident in who he was and what he knew. From his baptism to the wedding at Cana to the feeding of the thousands the list goes on how Jesus lived his life publicly and noisily. The gospel of Mark repeatedly tells us that "crowds" followed Jesus continually. That certainly isn't a picture of quiet.
We live in a "politically correct" age and given this context I find myself too often following Jesus "quietly." To daily look at each encounter with an individual as an opportunity to speak "Jesus" is a challenge. What I'm realizing, however, is that while I may not have the courage to yell, "Jesus!" while walking down the street I can speak Jesus into the life of each person I meet. It means a very conscious awareness on my part. Each waiter, clerk, telephone order taker, doctor, mortgage broker, window washer becomes an opportunity to not be quiet about Jesus.
How we speak Jesus daily will look different with each encounter. But what I was struck with is the truth that I can do something that takes no time from the other person. I can pray. If I believe that God created everyone then each person I meet is an image of God. They may not know it, but the fact is I do and my reponsibility as a Jesus follower is to speak Jesus to them in whatever way possible.
Whether "quietly" or out loud the simplest way to speak is prayer.