I don’t know if I’ll make this a regular installment, but tonight I got thinking about pen-pals.
When I was about 12 I had a pen-pal called Misty (No joke and wow this is all coming back to me). I was in the Solomons, she was in Byron Bay. We wrote quite a few times – I’m not sure even where the pen-pal’ishness originated, some magazine thing I think.
One day I got all psyched up with Jesus and decided to be all evangelistic and share with her the true meaning of Christmas.
The story – which I swear is true – ended one of two ways (This I blame on my sketchy memory).
a) She wrote and said she wasn’t really interested
b) She never wrote back
Either in my 12-year old eyes was a disappointing outcome. I think I decided not to tell anyone – since I was embarassed in the first place at even writing it.
Ah well. I guess 12 year old’s need moments to make mistakes and to grow up a little.
Evangelism is a stigmafied poo. I’m sad to say that I’ve contributed.
I’m with you bec, I think we’ve all done it in our less mature perhaps more differently enthusiastic years.
I didn’t have a pen pal so much as a girl I emailed -back and forth- after meeting at some inter-school event. After I got too Jesus heavy she stopped writing. Hmmm…. I guess we all learn our lessons.
The lesson I’m yet to learn though is where is it appropriate to talk to people about the most important aspect of your life?
Um…well, I was a bit older than 12…ok, a LOT older than 12…and experiending something of a personal revival of faith…and I actually participated in one of those walks around uni (yeah, that old) where you rock up to some poor soul who’s eating lunch on their own, and take them through a little booklet and then ask them whether they’d like to pray the sinner’s prayer. Needless to say it wasn’t terribly effective.
I still burn with embarassment when I think about the day. In my defence, it was only ONE lunch time…
To Jess V’s comment about not know when it’s appropriate – my husband and I both share the view that many Christians struggle to be “normal”. Our faith comes up all the time in conversation, we never look for opportunities – it just comes up, the way the footy or music or So You Think You Can Dance does. 😛 It certainly comes up whenever we discuss anything to do with politics, or social justice…and it comes up because we’re involved in various church activities which our friends are interested in knowing about. On more than one occasion we’ve had a friend say that they’d really like to come to church with us some time…
I don’t know whether any of that’s helpful, but I guess my view is that if you’re a half-decent conversationalist, and you have friends, and your faith is genuinely integrated with the rest of your life, then you shouldn’t need to look for opportunities to talk about it – it should actually be difficult NOT to mention church and spirituality.
Ah Bec, good stories. not that I’m going to share any of mine, except to say that I once got kicked in the… keh… anyway that was grade four.
There were two words in your first story that made me giggle like a drunk leprichaun. (anna would probably try to tell you that’s my normal laugh):
Anyway its not like at 12 any of us knew that the name “Misty” and the address “Byron Bay” hinted at steiner schools, bright wool beanies, didgeriedoos, and wierd strains of budhism.
I think I’ll have a few questions for those sunday school teachers who sent us to our social doom in the name of ‘love’. I think it had something to do with flannelgraph’s and a kid who stole a box of chocolates. Apparently he had a black flannel heart. Awww.
Oh, did you ever ask yourself if you started evangelising after you got bored with the friendship anyway?
Looking back, everytime I did that to someone it was because I stopped caring, not because I started. Wierd.
I remember dragging one of my friends, who is an absolutely lovely person, along to the annual Christian Union bash-people-around-the-head-fest. Being a reasonably socially naive kiddo at the time, the munchkins running the afternoon talk at uni had spent about 6 weeks convincing me that I was helping to save the world by hassling my friends who weren’t Christians into coming to listen to people who had nothing better to do on a Tuesday lunchtime than perpetuate some of the same irrelevant, silly religious arguments that have been going on for centuries.
Looking back I’m not sure whether I’m more embarrassed that I took a friend along or that I took it seriously in the first place. I, naturally, didn’t realise that my guest really only came along because she had worked out that it was important to me and was trying to be a good friend.
I think that’s probably the nicest realisation to come from the whole experience.