Today I would like to welcome my first guest blogger. I have known her for pretty much my entire life and while I consider her both a talented writer and even a friend. But in reality, she is much more than that. She is also my mom.
How do you get camp kids to eat broccoli for dinner? You secure Tim DuMont for your serving line. Watching my son serve up broccoli for dinner at Shiloh was like watching a hawker at carnival. "Come and get it! Get your broccoli right here. Look at this stuff - it's like little trees and the leaves tickle your mouth as you chew! Hey, don't pass me by - try at least one piece!"
Just about every kid had broccoli on their tray when they left. Now it is true that a number of them tossed it out after trying it. But try it they did. As I was leaving the camp, a group of girls sat outside talking about broccoli. Yes, they really were discussing a vegetable during their free time at camp. We were serving lasagna that night and one of the girls had apparently tried it with Parmesan cheese - which was what Tim had suggested. She was duly impressed. A second girl said that the only broccoli she'd ever had was like mush - but that this broccoli was a little crunchy and that it tasted good. The third girl said she went back and actually got seconds. A fourth girl just made a face and said there was nothing on the face of the earth that would get her to eat broccoli.
This got me to thinking. Tim's sharing-of-the-broccoli (as it is now referred to) is a lot like our sharing of the gospel. Those of us with the gift of gab need to choose our words carefully and encourage every person we meet to take a taste of what God has to offer. Some will taste it and like, it but may hold off taking more because of a negative past-experience. Some will like it so much that they quickly come back for more. Others will outright reject our offer. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't try.
Sure, we can just stand in our line waiting for those who already like broccoli (or Christ) to come to us. Or we can sing the praises of what we know is wonderful - offering up a bit of encouragement along the way. Who knows - we may offer a tidbit to someone who becomes the next king of the broccoli hawkers (or the next missionary to a foreign land)!
Louise Bergmann DuMont, Author of Faith-Dipped Chocolate and Grace By the Cup (published by Baker Books)