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Witnessing Amid Chaos

Timothy Johnson, pastor of Church of the Redeemer in Bowie, Maryland, writes:

Earlier this summer I took a few days to reread the book of Acts and was amazed at the boldness of the disciples as they shared their faith. The settings in which they did this were not quiet and serene, where they would wait for the right opportunity to speak about the resurrected Christ. They were often in crowds and in places that were bubbling over with hostility against them. Yet they spoke up.
I encountered this very situation at Baltimore Washington International (BWI) airport as I was leaving for our denomination's annual meeting in June. Along with everyone else moving toward a gate in order to catch a plane, I went through security screening. And along with so many other people, I was asked to stop so that a security screener could look carefully at every inch of my carry-on bag. The screener politely asked me to step back and to resist my urge to reach out and "help" him. As he poked, unloaded things, unzipped pockets, and felt the linings of my bag, I noticed the ring on his right hand—a silver ring with a cross on it. I mentioned it. He looked briefly at me.
Then, as he continued searching my bag, he said something like this: "Yeah, the ring. It means I'm a follower of Jesus. You know, in my job, one of the things we worry about is dynamite. But do you know where that word comes from? It's from the Greek word dunamis, which means 'power.' As a Christian, I know that all of the power belongs to God. That's why he sent Jesus. So while I'm doing my job, I know that he is doing his job. That's where I put all of my trust. It all belongs to him, and he's here with us.
"Well, Mr. Johnson, have a great trip," he said before moving on to the next person.
I walked away with a smile, thinking about how this man had so naturally risen to the opportunity to share his faith. It certainly wasn't the place for an extended conversation. There was a long line of people behind me, and he had plenty of work to do. But in less than 30 seconds, he spoke about his faith to a total stranger— calmly, confidently, and without hesitation.

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