I’m always amazed when I see a youtube video that has 50 million views and I have never seen it, let alone heard of it. I always wonder how I missed it. Yesterday I was out and heard a cashier ask a young mother if she had ever seen Teen Mom 2. She had seen it. He said her little girl looked like a little girl on that television show. For the record, I have heard of the tv show Teen Mom, but I’ve never seen Teen Mom 1 or 2. The cashier also commented on the girl’s boots, her friend’s shoes, etc. making small talk. He then went on to take the order for Happy Meals. We’re not shy about making chit-chat, even with strangers.
As a pastor I frequently go on hospital visits. I even find myself making small talk with families and patients on a hospital visit. Sometimes what we’re doing is dancing around the truth and avoiding the important talk that we need to have. I went on a hospital visit this past week and was not going to be found guilty of that.
It was obvious to me the person was weak and wasn’t up for a long talk or a long visit. After 2 minutes of small talk, I said, “Listen. I’m not here to chit-chat. I don’t want to talk about the weather, or how good you look, or your wife’s pretty shirt. I want to tell you what I believe about God and Jesus. I believe there was a great being who created everything. The Bible tells us it was a single God. And I believe when we die we’re going to stand before God and one of two things is going to happen. Either he is going to allow us to remain with Him forever or send us away to be separated from Him forever. And the deciding factor is not if you went to church. There are going to be people who went to church their whole lives who God is going to send away. The deciding factor is not going to be whether you were a good person. Nobody is good enough. I believe God sent His Son Jesus to this earth and the only way we get to be with God forever and make it to heaven is through the sacrifice of Jesus. I claim His perfect life by accepting His sacrifice and that, and only that, makes me right with God. Every other religion has people trying to earn heaven. It is impossible to earn heaven. God says it’s only by grace through faith in Jesus. Do you believe this?” Then I listened to what he had to say and we prayed.
I left knowing I said what I needed to say. I don’t know what food the person likes or if he likes fishing. I don’t know where he worked when he was younger or if he prefers Ford or Chevy. We had a brief time together and we discussed what was important. It’s easier to talk about things that don’t matter. But there’s a peace that comes when you depart having talked about what does matter.