I’ve never been successfully evangelized. I’ve never successfully evangelized anyone else. I’m a recovering cynic, but a solid skeptic. I believe in people rather easily, but I doubt ideas, theories, conspiracies, etc. I believe in God. I help others believe in God and live out that belief. I try to practice compassion and hospitality, as that seems like a large part of who Jesus is. My faith is contentious, meaning that I question, discern and evaluate…all very slowly. I stick closely to Jesus, but I live my life. I can say with confidence that God leads me, but I don’t feel anything. My doubts and my questions are a large percentage of my faith. It’s hard to convince someone else to join in a faith that clouds things as much as it clarifies.
When I became a dad, things changed. Some things were felt strongly. Some changes took a while. A new normal is settling in and I am finding that it is really a lot better than the previous normal. It is more difficult. It is more fearful. It requires me to act in ways unnatural. I’m a lot more vigilant than I used to be. All these are good things.
One of my tasks in the division of labor is to put A. to bed. I’ve gotten pretty good at it. After some difficulties in sleeping, M. and I devised a process for bedtime. We read a lot and figured out a lot. The end of the routine is me holding A. and singing before I finally lay her down. In the course of this scheme, I have a repertoire of songs that are long enough, easy enough to sing and soothing enough. One of these songs is Pass it On.
I want my daughter to know about God’s love. It’s okay if she questions, even to spend time in the wilderness. In the end, I want my daughter to have a sense of awe and wonder, an inclination that we’re not the top dogs and an ethic that says the best things are free and are meant to be shared.
It’s the Christian, not just the Methodist in me that wants A. to experience God’s love. She will have times of trial, failure and loss. I want her to know what it means to overcome, succeed and comfort. As much as I want her to be surrounded by friends she can rely upon, I also want her to know that if she must branch out on her own, the Lord goes with her. I want her to know that courage is of the spirit and her spirit is the very breath of God within her.
Pass it On is 3 verses, each simple with a gentle melody. Find the first note and you can sing it a capella. It makes for a good lullaby or a song to affirm someone you know.
In terms of Evangelism, as I sing to A., I know what it means to want someone to know the good news. I know that this good news cannot be attained through threat or coercion. The message is so good that it practically advertises itself. “The Lord of love, has come to me. I want to Pass it On.”