Robert & Roberta Adair

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I wish I could say that I’m a consistent exerciser. So although this might look like “oh yeah I’m jogging and disciplined and fit and fabulous,” …(snicker snicker snicker)…

I did go for a jog the other day. I got J suited up in warm clothes, carried him to the garage, and started loading him into the jogging stroller. Then I looked up and a lady was standing in our driveway (that’s pretty unusual). She looked kind of familiar…oh yes, she’s the neighborhood JW lady. This is the 5th? or 6th? time I’ve met her. Others have come to our house, too, and I’m usually pretty short with them using limited Japanese as an excuse. Today, though, she was more into small talk. I can do (limited) small talk, so we talked about babies, weather, exercise, culture, etc.

Then she asked me what kind of Christian I am followed by what my favorite passage is in scripture. Yep, she went into the script of finding that passage, asking me the whole “What is the name you use for God” thing, pointed me to a verse out of context (um, not like we evangelicals ever do that), tried to give me the book of Matthew…and all the time I’m semi-shaking my head and trying to be both firm and polite. Thankfully J started fussing, and I interpreted it as him saying, “We came out here to jog, Mom. Get your bum in gear and jog already.”

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When we parted, I felt sad. I don’t know what it will take for her to know truth about who Christ is. I also felt sad as I think we Protestants are viewed in the same boat as this lady, and I know how yucky I felt when talking with her. I thought about the Mormans on bikes (always biking wearing helmets – hardly anyone here wears helmets) that I saw 2-3 times last week (and dozens of times over the last 3 years). I thought about the fringe religion building a few minutes from our house and the huge complex for a fringe Buddhist religion not far from our church (both are two of the many, many “new religions” in Japan). Ugh.

I jogged a little further and ran into two 4th grade girls I met at the cram school I used to go to. We chatted, and their openness and confidence made me smile. I don’t remember what it was, but the 3 of us were cackling at one point – I think something about the one girl’s confident awkwardness made me giggle then chortle and then they laughed at me laughing… Later I passed jogging grandpas and a grandma on a bike with a bunch of seaweed in her basket. I also swung by the market to buy some fruit and veggies (yep, sweaty and stinky), and I ran into a few ladies I know (kind of embarrassing. The it’s-ok-to-shop-in-workout-clothes thing hasn’t made it to Japan). Then the daughter of one of my English students biked up next to me, and we chatted for 10 or so minutes (about bikes and spring break and fun places to view cherry blossoms).

I went home pretty full. Despite occasionally wondering if the door-to-door approach is more effective (doubtful. For every person who expresses interest, I bet there are 100+ who become more closed) and despite wondering if we should be more direct in our witness, I was reminded that people are getting to know us, to trust us, to see that we are safe, and to know we care about them. It’s not necessarily anything special or remarkable (and, frankly, makes for a pretty boring blog)imageimageimage, but I pray it’s a part of our witness and ministry in this community.

Originally posted on Adair Update...

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