21 April, 2010

Convincing people I'm not awesome

"Never pity missionaries; envy them. They are where the real action is — where life and death, sin and grace, Heaven and Hell converge." — Robert C. Shannon

The other day I was handed a present in front of a group of ladies that I'd just spoken to. The lady giving it to me said, "You're a braver woman than I."

Why do missionaries evoke such strong emotions in other Christians? Pity, fear, perplexity, awe, and even deliberate indifference. Maybe our lives are too confronting? Too scary to contemplate. Too difficult to imagine.

The "brave" comment left me speechless. I'd spoken honestly about some of my struggles to these ladies. Hoping that they'd see my frailty, my human-ness and debunk the myth about missionaries being super-Christians. But somehow I'd reinforced the myth?

I was encouraged, however, by an honest comment the day before in a small Bible study group I've attended irregularly this year. She said, "You've convinced me that you are ordinary." Yay!!!

1 comment:

Shan in Japan said...

I love being ordinary! I tell my friends who are still in the small town or area where I grew up that they are brave and they look at me like I have two heads. I can't imagine still living there. (Yet it feels so comfortable-which I guess goes along with the previous post of 'yes and no'!)
Enjoy your last few months there!