Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Missionary (10/19/06)
TITLE: Confessions of a Would Be Missionary
By Marita Vandertogt
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How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel. . . . (Rom. 10:15).
I cover mine with shoes. Usually up-to-date, and of course, enviable.
And I walk in places that bring me pleasure. Shopping malls, movie theatres, restaurants.
I didn’t always.
Once, a very long time ago, I wanted to be a missionary. Work for God. That’s what I thought a missionary did, though I wasn’t sure of the exact job description at seven when I thought I felt the call of God on my very young life.
I knew it would mean giving up friends and moving miles and miles away from home, to a different culture, and eat things I wouldn’t hold in my hands, much less bring up to my lips.
But that was going to be okay, because I was going to be a missionary, and that’s what missionaries did. They lived a life of drama and romance. Or so I thought.
But then, I was also going to be a movie star. Have long flowing hair, and command, by my very presence, an audience to stand on their feet in a roar of applause.
There is no applause for being a missionary.
Thus the dilemma, when I was seven.
Now that I’m older, and wear shoes that I find attractive rather than practical, I know better, about being a missionary.
I know I could never have done it.
I have a friend who did. She worked in Cambodia and she told me about the heat, the people, a life that isn’t really your own, not really. A life that is constantly available to the people around her. And where she doesn’t care what kind of shoes are on her feet, as long as they get her over rough country to where she’s going when the four wheel drive gives out. And her eyes shine when she tells me, and her smile is real. About the people, and the love she feels for them. Real love. Not the kind that smiles and says how are you, but the kind that draws them into her own life, and ultimately, into His. And sometimes I have to look away, because maybe, just maybe, I was supposed to be there as well. But I’m not.
Our pastor preaches that we are all missionaries, right where we are.
But it still isn’t the same thing. Not really. That’s being a witness. Not a missionary. A missionary, well, that involves a special kind of sacrifice.
A special place in the eyes of God. It has to.
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