Bringing the Bible to Unexpected Places
I remember the 4 years of high school being a whirlwind of learning the world and learning myself.
I remember living my life under the purpose of being a decent person and having no idea where my bible was. I remember walking in and out of those hallways wondering who I was to the people around me and still thinking God was too distant to truly care.
Fast forward to today. To a life of ministry, community, and faithful walking (or at least doing my best to!). Now, I won’t leave the house without my bible. The book that once had no significance; was a dust collector somewhere in the boxes of things in our apartment; and the pages that intimidated me beyond admission. I won’t leave without it.
And here’s why: you never know when you’ll need it and you never know who is watching.
I am thankful for the yearning God has placed in my heart for the understanding of His word. I desire to dive in whenever I can. Sometimes that means in a doctor’s waiting room, on an airplane, or on a patio at a local bar. I rather fill my mind with His truth than allow room for wandering thoughts of my flesh. I didn’t originally bring my bible places on purpose for these reasons, however, it is just something I noticed over time.
Here are 3 unexpected places to bring your bible and 3 stories of what happened there:
Doctor’s Waiting Room
I was waiting to be called in to an appointment. I know that typically the wait can be quite long, so I brought my bible and pen. I pulled my legs up on the chair, rolled my sweatshirt sleeves up, and opened to Isaiah. There was a mother sitting two seats down. I could feel her eyes on me. Not out of judgement, but curiosity. I kept my eyes down reading. Eventually she just asked me, “is that a bible?” I told her it was and what I was currently studying. She just politely nodded her head. I smiled back and continued reading. Her eyes remained on my bible until her name was called a few minutes later.
You never know who is watching. I did not purposely bring my bible to “show off” that I am a Christian. I brought it, and do bring it, solely for my personal walk and desire for the Lord. But this started happening. So, I decided that though it is not my intent, it sparks curiosity. It shows people a genuine love for God and not just something you profess.
I was heading back to my home town on a 3-hour flight. For trips I always haul my entire pack of study materials. I had my MacArthur Study Bible, my micron bible pens, my journal, and was nose deep in to my study method. There was a gentleman sitting on the aisle seat. We had an empty seat between us as I was by the window. A little while after taking off he gently asked me what I was studying. I told him, and he proceeded with, “why?” I slightly laughed at his question. It was so full of bewilderment that I could possibly be doing this for fun. When I told him that I was indeed studying to further my faith and walk with Jesus he smiled. Which is not what I expected. But he smiled and said, “good for you. You don’t see that too often.” This turned into an entire gospel conversation. He invited me in to his church experience and told me about his family.
What I love about this story is the truth that God is just always present. He is always working. Even when we aren’t expecting it God is moving and affecting hearts. So many of us are afraid of what other people might think but in reality, that should be the reason we are bold. Because again, you never know who is watching.
In a Bar
When I first moved to FL it took a few months of getting plugged in to a church before I knew many people around me. Because of this, I would often take my study materials on a Friday or Saturday to a local restaurant/bar and sit outside on their patio. I just needed to get out of the apartment sometimes. I grew to know two of the waitresses that knew my drink of choice and let me have the back right picnic table underneath the lights so I could see my bible. Most of the time no one said anything. But then one evening, a man and his wife were at the table beside mine. They looked up after awhile and again asked me, “is that a bible you’re reading?” Another conversation sparked. A conversation about testimonies and church plants and we were able to share about the grace of God we know.
Am I saying you need to purposely take your bible everywhere you go and to unexpected places? No. I am saying we shouldn’t be ashamed. We shouldn’t hide our faith nor worry about what other people might think. More than that: you never know who is watching. Meaning, we have an opportunity every minute of the day to act and exemplify the godliness. Those who do not know Christ are aching to know Him. That’s exactly what I was doing in high school as I assumed the worst of God- it was because I wanted to desperately understand Him. There are countless people around us that need to see our love for Christ in the most genuine and natural ways. Don’t hide from it. Shout it from the mountaintops- or bring it with you on a plane. Either way, we are witnesses. We are a walking testimony of God’s grace and love. And people are drawn to that. They want to know.
What beautiful and subtle opportunities we have to just simply show our love and submission to Him.