One of the things I enjoy doing on holiday is hanging up my portable bird feeder and watching birds come to it. It usually takes about a week for the birds to find it. We were at Drakensville for seven days and, in that time, the birds found the new source of food. They would fight each other to perch on the rim and eat seeds. In Karridene it took the birds a little longer to get comfortable with the feeder but, before we left there were communities of sparrows gathering under it. We had to keep guard for monkeys, however. I was looking forward to the birds in Scottburgh. Last year, in Scottburgh, we had hung our feeder right outside our motorhome back window which faced the sea. I could wake up and, without getting out of bed, watch the sun rise and the birds twittering around.
This year, although we are only two sites from where we were last year, hardly any birds visit my feeder. I’ve seen a single sparrow perch on the rim and once, a weaver. I don’t know what’s different. Normally once one bird finds the source of food, it doesn’t take long for all their friends and neighbours to arrive too. Not this time. It almost seems like this year, the birds didn’t tell others. They didn’t witness. Yes, there is at least one sparrow eating from the feeder and about four or five who visit to eat any dropped seeds on the ground, as well as a pair of rock pigeons, but I am going home with half a packet of wild bird seed.
Telling others, or “witnessing,” has been a sensitive topic for me ever since I became a Christian. In fact, the time I did pull out and decide Christianity was not for me, it was because I felt pressured to witness. I know as well as any other Christian about the Great Commission. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20 NIV)
Witnessing has been described as one beggar telling another where to find bread. That’s what the sparrows didn’t do.
Two things have helped me. When I was much younger, I taught Sunday school. It’s much less threatening to tell children about Jesus than adults. Now that I belong to The Gideons International in South Africa, I have access to little pocket-sized Testaments and we are encouraged to hand out at least four a month. I don’t find that difficult. I tell people I have a gift for them and then explain a little about where to find help using the front section and the summary of the gospel at the back. I can’t make disciples – nobody can. Only the Holy Spirit can draw people to Christ. However, the little Testaments are a user-friendly tool I can use to carry out Jesus’ instruction in my small corner of the world.
Lord Jesus Christ, You made me and You designed my personality. I want to follow Your commandments. Please help me to rely on You in all things and not to try to do things in my own strength. Thank You for the Bible, Your Word. May those I have gifted with the little testaments find You in their pages. Amen.