How a Vegetarian Set Me Free to Share My Faith

She cornered me at the gym.
There was no graceful way to escape the torrent of words racing toward me.
Passionate words, yes,
Compelling words, maybe,
Condemning words, definitely.
Apparently, I’d been wrong about some basic stuff my whole life
and this woman had the answer
the only answer
to every problem I’d ever known
and she pressed me to convert on the spot.
She was persistent.
She made her case, illustrating with examples from her own life.
Oh yes, she walked the walk.
She was once as lost as I
but no more.
No, now she was such an devoted disciple,
she felt compelled to share the truth with everyone
at every opportunity
and I should be prepared
because she would
follow up with me tomorrow.
Not to be a pain but because she cares about me.
Now, I had a problem.
I liked this gym
but how would I ever enjoy it again
knowing I was being targeted for conversion
by a
vegetarian?!
Suddenly, though,
as the ardent woman listed
all the downfalls of my unreformed ways,
the long-term devastation my current eating habits would create,
and the countless benefits of become a disciple of vegetarianism,
a light went on inside my head.
Not an old fashioned incandescent light-bulb,
more like a search light or laser beam,
an idea so startling and simple
it revolutionized my life.
As I listened to the vegetarian woman,
well, more like allowed her words to land on my ears,
I surveyed the room and
thought about the man who’d spoken with me earlier
about all I’m doing wrong with my money
and how I should live like him.
And the liberal Democrat on the rower who
shares freely what’s wrong with anyone in the room
who prescribes to an opposing political philosophy
and the Muslim woman who requested (and received) special permission
to accommodate her modesty needs in the pool and workout room
and who graciously turns down offers of magazines
she finds immodest or spouting ideas contrary to her beliefs.
As I considered these individuals
it occurred to me that I have been a fool to hesitate to share my faith.
I’ve allowed others to cow me to silence
with cautions that no one wants to be told their way of life is wrong
or be pressured to change their ways
and I don’t want to any of that,
I just want to talk freely about my perspective on life,
a perspective informed by my love for Jesus Christ.
And I am free to do that.
The vegetarian freed me that day.
The light that went on showed me that we live in a culture
where passionate people speak openly about their passions,
where boldness abounds,
strong opinions are aired,
and lifestyles are displayed in the open marketplace without apology.
Why not mine?
And so, then, uncharacteristically for me,
I turned to the vegetarian and said,
“Thank you for sharing your passion with me.
I’ll give some thought to adapting my ways.
I wonder if you have a minute to hear about the passion that’s
Revolutionized my life?
Have you ever considered following Jesus?
You have more in common with Him than you know – He freed me once
And you’ve freed me again.”
The vegetarian was intrigued.
And so, I exercised my new freedom to speak my heart and mind
and haven’t stopped since.
We live in a culture of passionate lifestyle sharers.
Jesus freed us so we are free.
If we don’t speak up now – when?
(What did one domino say to the other? We don’t have to fall.)
What has freed you to speak up about Jesus? Tell us.

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10 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Terra says:

    I love how you had a light bulb moment and then shared about your passion for Jesus with the vegetarian. You are right, everyone feels free to share their beliefs and now it is time for us to speak up and share our good news. I sometimes share about my faith when I exercise in the pool, and people see how happy I am when talking about attending church, etc.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I began to share freely when Jesus filled me with the Holy Ghost and fire. Great boldness and courage comes on simple folk to preach the gospel and walk in overflowing love when that happens. Jesus gives everything we need to obey all of His commands.

  3. Dorothy says:

    This is definitely a message that every believer needs to read. It is our privilege and responsibility to share Jesus Christ. This post reminds me about the passion of sharing as well. How can I not share the gospel — it is the power of God for salvation, for New Life in Him.

  4. This is very very good! Thank you. I shared it on Facebook and Twitter. I am so glad I “discovered” your blog. Thank you for the encouragement.

  5. dogdaddy says:

    Again, you sharing your thoughts and considerations have allowed me to identify the very same in me. Thanks for being open!!!!

  6. dogdaddy says:

    Lori, thank you once again for helping me identify like hindrances and hesitancies in me.

  7. I belong to an organization called Christians for Vegetarianism. Your new friend at the gym might enjoy that organization. 🙂 I completely understand what you are saying. I find I am guarded about sharing both my religious beliefs and the fact that I’m a vegetarian because I am frequently verbally attacked for both.

  8. Great post, and a needed encouragement for today’s relativism! Thanks!

  9. Sally Lewis says:

    Most folks resent being accosted in a public place by an evangelizing proponent of anything. Even though we are fortunate to live in a society that allows vociferous free speech it is seldom an effective way to share joy. Point in case – you are not a vegetarian are you?

    • Actually, Sally, I have been convinced by vegetarian proselytizers to modify my diet and have made strong moves in that direction. I’m not recommending we “accost” people but certainly it can be as normal a part of the conversation about my life as my passion for the Patriots or my enjoyment of the latest television show. We need to get over our fear of speaking up. It does make a difference when we do.