can you tell me how to get there

Sunday afternoon I was helping with a Fort Wayne Children’s Choir event. The children were to meet at a church and then walk to the Embassy Theatre. It was a six block walk in downtown Fort Wayne.

As I was wating to drive to the venue with some boxes and cases, a parent came up to me and said, “can you tell me how to get there.”

I was paralyzed.

I tried to talk. I tried to draw a picture. But I was getting nowhere.

Downtown Fort Wayne has several one way streets. I can’t remember street names. I am a visual thinker. English was her second language.

All of those are the excuses I use, but they are just excuses. The reality is that at that moment I felt like I couldn’t help her get from the church to the Embassy to save my life.

And then another parent walked up and saw what was happening. He said, “I’m going there. I’ll just take you there.”

I could have done that. I could have gotten in the minivan that I was going to get into anyway and showed her how to get there by going there myself.

But I was focused on my task rather than her need.

I think that on my best days, that’s why I am writing this blog. I give you all kinds of pictures. Sometimes they help. But the best thing any of us can do is to just take people along with us.

I think that it’s called making disciples.

6 responses to “can you tell me how to get there

  1. Ouch, Jon! Once again I walk away from here with sore toes… :-\

  2. join me in the mirror, friend.

  3. Well, yes and no, because I wouldn’t get into someone’s van on the subjects you write about. I don’t imagine I’m alone in that.

    Give me a hint that you’re driving me somewhere, or that there’s anything organised about the kind of faith you describe and I’m out of here.

    So, to continue the analogy, perhaps driving’s not your job.

    Perhaps you’re there to remind us there are choirs, and vans, but not to do the driving.

  4. Interesting, because today at M.D. Anderson — a huge place built by folks with no plan in mind — I saw some folks who were obviously lost. One of the things I’ve learned from experience there is exactly what you wrote about. Take them where they want to go. There’s no good way to explain it, no good maps. Walking with them is the only surefire way. And my next patient will still be there when I get back to my rounds.

    Joanna, maybe you’d be more comfortable with Jon walking beside rather than driving?

  5. interesting jon…still working through this.

    i too am a visual learner and do not usually go by street names when i drive. i go by landmarks.

    i would say this…i think discipleship is sometimes letting the person go down the road with our limited sense of directions to guide them.

  6. What was so challenging Sunday afternoon was that I was trying to give the
    directions that were being asked for.