“Hey Daddy, I have an idea that we can do before school is out.”
It was Wednesday night. My son and I were driving home from church. He is a typical 7-year old, full of big ideas and the energy to make them happen. We had just talked about building a new doghouse over the summer break.
“Ok son, what’s your plan?”
“What if we tried to tell some of our neighbors about Jesus. I could read something from the Bible and you could tell them what it means.”
I paused, not sure what to say. In that moment, I could think of a dozen excuses. Like too many Christians, we do not really know our neighbors. From what we do know, we are not excited about learning more. In fact, the family he wanted to visit is known for their colorful language. What if they slam the door? What will that do to his faith?
I might have believed my excuses, if God had not giving me the same burden. Over the previous week, I had felt a growing conviction to witness to families on my block. How could I say that I love my neighbors, if I had never spoken to them? How could I tell them the sweetest name I know, if I did not even know their names?
“Ok son, we’ll try to go.”
“Maybe tomorrow, after you get home from school.”
“Daddy this is great. It’s just a walk across the street and it’s kind of like we’re being missionaries.”
So, we made our plans, deciding in advance what we would say. He chose John 3:16-17, then packed his Bible in a book bag. He even made some notes to help me explain about Jesus. That night, we said a special prayer for our neighbors.
To my shame, I wanted him to forget about it. But by morning, he was calling this our mission. Over breakfast and on the way to school, he kept plotting. After school, his excitement had only grown.
“Dad, are we still going?”
It was time. As we walked across the street, I put my hope in God. After all, this was his idea and it was up to him to work it out.
I knocked… No answer, but those few steps of obedience had filled me with courage.
“Son, let’s keep going and try the other neighbors.”
Over the next 20 minutes, we visited two apartments next-door to our house. Both ladies we met were church attendees who had already professed faith in Jesus. We have now learned their names and hope to become their friends.
“Hey Daddy, when do you think we can do this again?”
“I think tomorrow will work, we still have a lot of people left to talk to.”