Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Winsome Witness

"You have to be winsome to win some," my friend Irene said the other day when we were talking about sharing our faith.  She'd heard the expression years earlier and it had stuck with her.

I saw a wonderful example of this at Dad's birthday party.  Among the friends gathered was Ken McKay, an exuberant man I've known most of my life.  Ken loves Jesus and he loves people.  He is an animated story teller and can execute a good joke like few people I've ever known.  (Maybe some day I'll pass along his bacon tree story.)

Who knows how it came up, but on Sunday night Ken began to share his testimony.  He was 23 years old, a young husband and soon-to-be-father, who had just taken a job at a meat market.  Win Barnett, the shop owner, had rented a small space and was trying to get his business off the ground.  As they worked, Win told Ken stories from the Old Testament.  "Oh, could he dress up those stories.  He made them come alive for me," said Ken, scooting forward on his chair, his eyes widening, his hands extending -- and he was right there in that butcher shop, listening again to the stories of Moses and David and the three Hebrews thrown in the fiery furnace.  He especially loved the story of Elisha receiving the double portion of Elijah's blessing.  Ken retold the story just as he must have heard Win tell it, more than 50 years ago!

"For two months I listened to Win's stories.  I offered my stupid arguments, the fallacies I saw in the scripture.  'God created light four days before He made the sun!  How could that be?'  But my questions were easily answered.  And his life backed up his testimony.  There was no way you could deny that God was real by the way Win lived!"

You could say Win was winsome.  And he was real.  And faithful.  He shared his life and his story with a young man who was hungry for the truth, and God used it to change that young man's life.

And you could say Ken is winsome.  Just a guy who has grown deeply in his love for Christ, who saved him and has given him a clean heart, telling the story to others.

How about you?  What's your story?

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