Persons and Princes of Peace in a world that understands naught of discussion over food.


Lately I’ve had an exceedingly large amount of birthdays going on, ever since my own on the 18th through to today, they have flown thick and fast, with very little time to give enough to each individual. How does one spend time with someone, when two others also deserve all they do on such an auspicious day? It was nice then to be able talk to my brother for a time the other day, in which we chatted the tediously predictable, as well as those things that are a bit more important.

One of which was how is it that one can talk to strangers about Christ, in a society that knows nothing about Him, and to someone who may not actually want to talk to you about such things. How is it that one can even dare to suggest to someone, someone who is steeped in culture and tradition, that everyone they have ever known, and ever known to have existed before them, could be mistaken in what is real (if any of this is even real), and question whether they have a hold on the nature of Truth (if truth exists) that is somehow “correct.” 
And I’m not talking about some ethereal version of niceties that makes everyone feel nice. I mean practically, how do I show Truth to the lady on the street selling meat, how can I tell her that what she believes is wrong? Can I do that whilst living with myself? And is it even necessary seeing as she may not (possibly probably does not) want to talk about such things. Practically. Tell me the process, real steps, steps that can be followed, that result in a conversation that has depth, that doesn’t end with one being thrown out by the collar, or worse. In other words, it was assumed that I would experience quite a lot of arguments and fights.
Over the course of the conversation that, invariably, talked about keeping culture a good thing, that Christianity isn’t Western, talking about the validity of ones beliefs and who’s (if anyones) duty it was to discuss such things, we came across taking about a “person of Peace.”
I realised that although people know that we talk about Christ to others (when I’m not being the worst missionary in all of history…), many just have never really thought to ask how and neither do I think that they are incorrect in not knowing, why would they? I didn’t. It just never occurred to me! 
So what is a person of Peace (POP) and why is this amazingly awesome person important to someone like me? An example is in order to practically show the idea. When I was on outreach earlier in the year we used this method, to good use too. We didn’t have a translator at the time, plus we came in the middle of a national holiday, so not many were working, or staying home a lot. So how does one talk to anyone at all let alone about Christ, without resorting to prayer walks to numb us through. So here are the steps:

1) Pray
2) Pray more
3) Leave the house, continue praying.
4) Pray that someone would invite you into their home, that they would talk to you, be friendly, interested, but just as importantly, influential to some degree.
5) Accept the invitation to come inside.
6) Eat, no matter what is in front of you, I don’t care if it’s raw squid and rotting onion skin. Be friendly. Be aware of what not to do in their culture.
7) Bless them
8) Tell them about what you believe Christ did for yourself, and everyone else.

This list is not what one should do. Don’t get me wrong here, this is simply what we did. But it does demonstrate who the POP is. She is someone who will talk to you, invite you into their own home, be hospitable to you, let you talk about such a subject manner, seemingly interested. It is someone who is interested in truth. Someone who is reasonably known to be “good” and influential in their own world. These people want to know more about God, more about truth, more about the world, and how to live in it. This is why one is able to talk to them, because they actually want to talk to you. Which, by their very nature, make them the perfect people to talk to. Not only are they seeking God, but they are in a position to tell others about Him long after you’ve gone back to your mochachinos, complaining about some inane political stance, and Saturday night movies. They are someone who will invariably be more accepting of your total failure of being polite in their culture, they will be less likely to argue, but more likely to ask an inordinately large amount of questions which sometime seem odd to you.

So why does this even happen? Why do these people let you in?

I have no idea.

Not without invoking the Sunday-school answer of “it’s Jesus!” but, well yeah, I guess it is somehow.
It clearly involves the Holy Spirit moving in that person, but I have no idea, why that person, and why me. 

What I do know is this, that the Prince of Peace has it all goods, that we need not get into fights, as my brother put it, that we can talk to someone, in their own culture, in their own tradition, without leaving in a frothing mess of anger. It is possible.

(The picture below is one that my brother, and his girlfriend, made for my mum for her birthday.)

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