Psalm 105:1-4, 6-9
What are you discussing as you walk along? (Luke 24:17)
You’ve heard of the expression “meeting someone where they’re at,” but what does that mean? You could say that it means first of all just being available to someone. That’s what Jesus does in today’s reading. He meets these two men on the road to Emmaus and walks with them for several miles. He takes the time to listen to their story before offering any opinions of his own. And during the entire journey, he never tells them who he is. That’s showing a lot of restraint, considering who the conversation is about!
But there’s more to meeting people where they are at than just offering a listening ear. Listening to these two disciples, Jesus determines what their problem is and helps them address their grief. They haven’t understood that the very thing they’re distraught over—Jesus’ suffering and death—is part of God’s grand plan of salvation for everyone, including themselves. So he explains that plan to them by telling them what his Father has done for him.
What a perfect model for all of us as we take up the call to evangelize! Every day, we meet people like these Emmaus disciples—people who are wandering, unsure of themselves, or on a path leading them away from God. As Jesus did, we can make it a point to be present to them—to get to know them and build a friendship with them. Remember Jesus’ words, “Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles” (Matthew 5:41). It’s in the context of friendship that we can begin sharing our stories with each other, and that’s when the gospel is proclaimed!
Sometimes this process can happen quickly, and sometimes it can take months. But sooner or later, you’ll know when the time is right. But before that time comes, it’s best to have something prepared. So spend some time today writing down what you might tell someone about what the Lord has done in your life. Then, as you pray, you’ll find points of contact between your story and theirs. And you’ll know what to say and how to say it.
“Lord, give me the grace to journey with those searching for you. Teach me how to listen to them and to share your love with them.”~WAU