A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another (Jesus, John 13:34).
Rags can’t hide their protruding bones. A comb couldn’t plow through their matted hair. Their legs look spindly and misshapen. And there are always so many of them–the destitute, the dirty, the hungry–the beggars. But one day it was different. The noisy streets were eerily quiet. Just two of them sat near the fruit stand. Business would not be good that day. Yet it would be a very good day in a more important way. In this part of the world, foreign Christians cannot talk openly to strangers about their faith. It could lead to a quick plane ride back to the U.S. But time and time again, it is obvious that actions often speak louder than words.
A lot of the world says it’s okay to push yourself to the front of the line. The believer steps aside. A lot of the world says it’s okay to look down on others of a lower caste with a “serve me” attitude. The believer treats all people as Jesus would–with a kind smile and words of appreciation. This speaks volumes to the poor beggars, even if they don’t understand your language.
The Fruit of Evangelism
On that quiet day I shared some fruit with the two beggars near the fruit stand. They are the ones with the matted hair and the spindly legs wrapped in bandages. One of them is missing a foot. With outstretched hands and grateful eyes they took the fruit as if I had handed them a plate of gourmet food. We smiled at each other, and I turned to leave.
During the short walk back, I reflected on the lesson the Lord had just taught me. I tried to swallow the lump in my throat. I tried to blink back the tears. I think Jesus had just taught me what a lot of his ministry was like. We cannot always share Christ with words. But we can surely show Christ to the downtrodden. They know whom we represent. They are watching and waiting with outstretched hands.
Through this is written by someone in India, he reflects much of an American’s gospel ministry in China.