We’ve Got Something to Talk About

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’ ”—Isaiah 52:7, NIV

My daughter, Aiyana, tells me that I talk to everybody I meet. That’s not true, of course, but that’s her perception. I’ve explained to her that what she sees comes as a result of my being a shy person growing up. Many years ago, to overcome my shyness, I decided that whenever I attended an event, meeting, or get-together I would introduce myself to at least three people I didn’t know.

It was difficult for me to meet people at first, but, eventually, I was able to do it without giving it much thought. Now, it’s a natural thing to do and I’m better off for it, because I’ve met some interesting people.

We have a tendency to gravitate toward people we know and hang out with them, but it is not as easy to go out of our way to mingle with people we don’t know. If Christ always chose to hang out only with His friends, He would certainly not have accomplished His mission in the short time He was here on earth. Instead, Christ “mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, ‘Follow Me’ ”—The Ministry of Healing, p. 143. We need to follow His example.

As we approach the holiday season there are many people whose paths God will allow us to cross. Some people we will know and some we won’t. Some people we meet will not have a care in the world and some will have heavy hearts. Some will seemingly have everything they need and others will have next to nothing. One thing is sure, everyone we meet will need Jesus. The question is, “Will they see Jesus in us when they meet us?”

I have no idea what impact was made on all those people I’ve met since I’ve been trying to “get over my shyness.” Hopefully, I’ve been living true to my personal mission in life “to reflect the character of Christ and to encourage and inspire those whose lives He allows me to touch.”

The Seventh-day Adventist Church has recently been thrown into the spotlight as a result of an Adventist running for the highest office in the U.S. This is an important moment for the church to “get over its shyness” and share with people far and wide information about who Adventists are, what they stand for, and, most importantly, that God loves them deeply.

In response to the increased interest about Seventh-day Adventists, the church has launched a new Web site (WhoAreAdventists.org) that provides a broad overview about its history, the beliefs of the church, and background about the church’s commitment to serving people through disaster relief efforts, community service, and innovative health and wellness programs. I believe this is an effective means of communication.

However, it will take the hands and feet of many people who have “gotten over their shyness” to go out and share the good news about Christ’s soon return. An example of this is the group participating in Compassion Boston, a ministry in the Greater Boston area that seeks to show Christ’s love through humanitarian and community-focused events, projects, and initiatives. They have decided to follow Christ’s example and mingle with the people.

We have been given an opportunity as individual members to be a “point of light” and to shine brightly for Jesus. Let’s face it, we’ve got to get over our shyness, because we’ve got something to talk about.

Ednor A. P. Davison is the editor of the Atlantic Union Gleaner and assistant to the president for communication in the Atlantic Union Conference.