Every once in a while, something happens in my life and I just have to share it with someone.
Like the day I discovered mulligatawny soup at a local Indian restaurant. It was simply amazing. One of the best soups I had ever tasted in my life. When joined with some naan bread, this new-found meal was absolute bliss. And I absolutely had to share this with everyone.
This was a number of years ago and the world of social media wasn’t invented yet. If it had been, I would have surely been one of those people who take pictures of their food and blast it online for all to see. I may have even created a Facebook fan page, or even a blog devoted to this wonderful soup.
In the primitive times I discovered this soup, I had to resort to telling people face to face; people like my coworkers. I finally had something to say when asked how my weekend was. At work, there seems to often be repeated conversations shared. “Hey, how’s it going?” “How was your weekend?” “Is this coffee fresh?”
When any of these questions were asked, I would tell people about my new favorite Indian restaurant and their blessing of soup.
“Hey, how’s it going?”
“Great! I have a new favorite restaurant that has soup! Ever heard of Mulligatawny?”
“How was your weekend?”
“It was a weekend to celebrate Indian food, more specifically, Indian soup! Let me tell you about it!”
“Is this coffee fresh?”
“It was made last Wednesday, but if freshness is something you are looking for, let me give you one word; SOUP!”
By the end of the day, all of my coworkers had heard the news about my soup discovery. Some were curious and wanted to try it themselves, some shared stories of their favorite meals, others politely thought I was a weirdo. Whatever the response, I was happy to share my experience.
When we really care about something, it can be a great joy to share it with someone else.
Many of us have shared stories with someone else and have had stories shared with us. There can be a real bonding between us when we share about ourselves and listen to others sharing about themselves. There is something quite purposeful about sharing ourselves with others. I’m not sure where we all would all be if we never told anyone anything about us or refused to listen or learn anything about anyone else.
And, history and our experiences shows us, our conversations can even go beyond good soup.
On a very special time not too long ago, an angel named, Gabriel, who was sent by God, visited a young woman by the name of Mary.
He would tell Mary not to be afraid, that she was highly favored and that the Lord was with her. Mary would then be told that she would conceive and give birth to a son named Jesus. With that conversation, a life would be forever changed for a woman named Mary. She was going to be the mother of the Messiah. The Savior.
Mary took this information well to say the least. She asked how this would be and was told the Holy Spirit would bless her with a child. One can only imagine the world of thoughts and emotions that were going through Mary’s head at the time. We read from scripture that Mary felt incredibly blessed to serve the Lord and be part of this awesome event. “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:38)
In addition to this powerful news, Mary would be informed that her relative Elizabeth was now pregnant. Elizabeth would give birth to John the Baptist. The one called to tell others of the coming of Jesus, the Messiah.
After the angel Gabriel left, what did Mary do with this amazing news? What did she do with this truly angelic story?
She shared it!
According to the book of Luke, “At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth.” (Luke 1:39)
As soon as Mary experienced this amazing moment in her life, she was on her way to share it with someone she obviously cared for deeply. Once at Elizabeth’s, Mary would tell her story and listen as Elizabeth communicated what had happened to her, together they would talk about events and share their feelings with each other. Mary ended up staying with Elizabeth for three months. Together, they would share their moments, stories and the miracles they both had experienced.
There really is something about sharing our story with others.
Mary’s story is one that definitely stands alone when it comes to spiritual encounters. But, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be sharing stories of our own. While none of us have been told we were going to play such a significant role in the birth of Jesus Christ, we all have stories and experiences.
We have all had thoughts and experiences with faith. We have all experienced blessings and I believe, we have all witnessed miracles. What are we doing with our stories? Who have we shared our faith with? If our belief in Christ is the most important thing to us, who are we sharing this with?
It is much easier to tell someone about mulligatawny soup than it is to tell someone about Jesus Christ, but one of these are definitely more important than the other. If someone is hurting or lonely deep inside; deep enough that we do not always see it, we can share something that can truly bring them peace. And as wonderful as it is, it ain’t the soup.
Too often, when we think of people telling others about our faith, we think of the hard sell. Of someone over zealously telling someone that if they do not think like them, they are going someplace very hot for their eternity vacation. Sharing our faith doesn’t have to be like this at all.
Sharing our faith should be just what it says. Sharing.
This is where the mulligatawny soup comes in. By sharing my love for this soup, I wasn’t telling others that they had to also love it. I did not think that people had to like what I liked. I was sharing something that I enjoyed with others. I was telling people about something because it brought me joy, and I wanted to share this joy with them.
We don’t share our faith because we have to. We share our faith because we want to. Telling people about the love of Jesus Christ is telling people that they are loved. By sharing our faith with another, we are sharing the gift of our honest self. None of us are perfect people and sharing our love for Christ shows how much Christ loves the imperfect.
Like Mary, when we share our joys with another, it can bring us even more joy. It can give us chances to express and celebrate the events and moments in our lives. Also like Mary, we can find that when we share some of ourselves, we open doors for others to share a part of themselves with us too. Sharing our faith can bring us happiness and can even give us strength when we experience times that are not so happy. By sharing their faith, Mary and Elizabeth strengthened a bond between them.
We often tell people when we have been to a really good restaurant or seen a really good movie. But, when was the last time we told people about a really good church or about the spiritual blessings in our lives?
None of these are a sales pitch. They are all a sincere form of sharing our joys with others.
The joy of knowing we are loved. The joy of knowing grace. The joy of loving our neighbors.
Sharing our faith with others really can be as easy as sharing a nice bowl of soup.