21 March 2006

Cured by Ham

Recently, when reading the parables of Jesus, I've felt overwhelmingly convicted. Especially potent has been the parable where the master gives three servants ten, five, and one talent, and then goes away. Like the stubborn servant with the one talent, I'm predisposed to pout about the amount given me and sit on it, comparing myself to others.

Last week at Fiday Night Bible study, I led songs for the first time. Then I got to teach.

Anyone who knows me knows that when I get in front of groups, I'm a natural ham. For one reason or another, I'd been hiding this character trait from greater Taiwan. Well, from anybody who knows me here. Maybe because being a missionary, you're "supposed" to take things seriously? Probably. (You're not really "supposed" to do it, but that was apparently my careful approach.) Additionally, I'd never gotten the chance to ham it up, aside from with my 6th graders, which no one ever sees,and obviously the kindergartners, because any kindergarten teacher who doesn't ham it up is straight doomed.

Friday night, all that changed. Back to textbook Anne. It lifted a weight so big that I even felt lightheaded. I wasn't afraid to talk to anyone; I'm Anne. Finally!

It could hardly have gotten better when a man walked up to me. This was his first time to come to Bible study. I asked him what brought him here tonight, and he told me he wanted to learn more about the Bible. As part of being with us the first time, he had received a pocket-sized Chinese and English New Testament, but he thought the print was rather small. He was right. It was pocket sized. However, he told me that he had a Bible at home: he checked it out from the library. Well, that will do.

He said he wanted to learn more about the Bible because of the influence it has on the world. I figured, better not waste any time. Let's get this man what he wants. He agreed to start reading the Gospel of Mark with me, and we'd talk about it next week.

Maybe it's elementary to suggest this blessing was positive reinforcement from the Lord. Either way: pass the ham.