Last evening my wife and I went to a place for dinner we haven’t been in a while. Its a Chinese restaurant we enjoy and have been working on the owners spiritually. As the young Chinese gals were attending to our table I responded once with one of the few Chinese words I know to thank them for their service. And depending on the dialect, the word, as they have told me, is pronounced differently. So I said “shay-shay” (thank you) to which our waitress immediately stopped, giggled, and warmly smiled and said “Oh, you spoke my language !’ She then responded with her version of “You’re welcome !”
I like to reach out to them this way to see them light up. It’s as if they are breathing this sigh of relief that though they are in a far away and foreign land, there is a touch of the familiar, and if even for a moment, it seems to make their day. As you read the pages of Holy Writ, you see the same relational attempts by the Lord as He reached out to folks with His Word. In the Sermon on the Mount He spoke of the “fowls of the air” and “lilies of the field” (Matt.6:26,28) and in many of His parables took the familiar to expound to His listeners the message from heaven.
Like Jesus, we too must find ways to relate to sinners the eternal truths of God. Get to know them and find areas of common interest and spend time with them in these. Several years ago, a neighbor of ours I had gotten to know liked to fish so we went fishing and though that isn’t on my short list of things I just have to do, I went and soon we got closer and began to discuss more and more things of a spiritual nature and it wasn’t long before he was saved. Maybe God has placed someone in your work place who is not saved or your neighborhood, maybe a new person has started coming to your church. Engage them, see what common ground you have as you converse and look for ways God can use YOU to impact them in a spiritual way.
God may bring someone into your little slice of life who is vastly different than you but you can still find something to connect with them. For us and these girls, we like rice ! We connect with a “shay-shay”, and it opens a door !! These are missionary adventures God places in your path, don’t overlook them, “redeem the time, because the days are evil (brief)” [Eph.5:16]. You never know where that “shay-shay” can lead for their eternal destiny and God’s great use of YOU !!