Intimidated Into Silence
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I think I attended what they would have called a racially-troubled elementary school when I was in kindergarten and first grade. The only thing is the kids didn't know it; somebody forgot to tell us it was racially troubled. It was a changing neighborhood and I guess the adults were real tense about what was going on between the black and white kids. We just didn't know there was any difference between us.
I was out on the playground one day and we were playing dive bomber. It was winter and we all had hats and coats on. The idea was you're supposed to come in with your arm real low and knock off the other guy's hat. Well, in the process, I connected with the head of one of the black kids in our class. I'm a klutz; I missed. Up comes this big, sixth grade patrol boy on a power trip. We called them patrol boys, crossing guards, whatever...they looked huge to a little first grader. This patrol boy said, "Did you try to knock his hat off?" I said, "Yeah, I was just trying to knock his hat off!" I was so confused I just didn't know what to answer him.
He said, "Wait a minute! Did you say you were trying to knock his head off!?" Oh that isn't what I said. I said I was trying to knock his hat off. Did you know I was so intimidated by that crazy patrol boy I couldn't tell him what really happened. Then he said, "Then I'm taking you to the principal's office." That did it! You can't imagine how big that sixth grader looked to me, and then he's got the power of the principal behind him. I had something important to say, but he seemed just too big to say it to.
at heaven because they're in a powerful position and they scare people away. I mean, I'm a child of the King of the universe. I don't need to fear or be intimidated by anyone. I know who I am. I'll be that forever; no one can take that away from me. That's my identity that you can't take.
Why don't you begin to pray that the Lord will help you see that intimidating person through God's eyes? What does God see? He sees someone lost, and lonely, hurting, a sinner needing the cross. Then pray for a natural opportunity - an easy way to get into a conversation. Our three-open prayer, "Lord, open a door. Lord, open their heart. Lord, open my mouth." Pray for the courage to take that opportunity. Pray for an approach that can begin with their need.
I once looked at a powerful patrol boy, and I had nothing to say to him. And I should have said something to him; I had something important to say. It looks dumb to me today. Now, today someone looks almost too big to you to tell the most important news of all. Don't look back one day and say, "Why didn't I tell them?" Because when it comes to the message of salvation, silence is not golden, it's fatal.
© (c) Ronald P. Hutchcraft
Distributed by Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Inc.