I’m Piotr, born and raised in small town in the south-western part of Poland. Currently self-employed, teleworking, living with my wife and daughter. The story of my faith is pretty simple. When I was a student, one of my colleagues had this little something which made him stand out. He had that charisma, wisdom, joy, humour and spirituality about him, which you may call God’s sparkle. So, naturally, I was drawn to it. I wished to know why and where he had that from and wanted to be like him. So, I actually read the Bible for the first time. No other philosophical system offered me more consolation. Jesus’s words did. If you feel that what He said has special power and profound truth then you cannot shrug off and cast away all of the remaining things He said about Himself and His Father. I’m positive the world would be an entirely different place without Him. It would be a much darker, gruesome place.
This testimony is about the fact that I had the honour of reaching out to people in front of the St Andrew’s Baptist Church in Cambridge. There is something amazing about standing outside the church in the evening and talking to people. Your perspective changes entirely.
How you look on people changes completely.
First of all, suddenly people are no longer an anonymous crowd of strangers. Instead they become individuals, among whom you are looking for future brothers and sisters. Although we compete for their attention with smartphones, plans and conversations, we try to draw their gaze through a friendly bow or a broad smile and a simple ‘Good evening’.
Secondly, the amount of histories you see on passers’-by faces is overpowering. Some people are just runners: moving from point A to B – their whole mind is in one thing only – where they’ve just been and where they are going. Majority of them are tourists: chilling out, looking around / talkers/ jokers: having the best laugh of their lives. There are some who have just lost their homes. There also those who with their shiny faces raise their thumbs as they think you are doing something good. There are also smirking blokes, Thank-you-I’m-good sort of people.
You can suddenly see how people are entrenched in their worlds: their heads full of work, family, facebook. You can also see a lot of their thoughts painted all over their faces. Pain, loneliness, lack of purpose, anxiety but also joy, friendliness, openness, sarcasm and irony. Probably to some of them, we are just harmless deluded happy people who apparently haven’t studied enough science or deny the evolution. As if evolution was the answer to everything. We should be absolutely sincere about the fact that to some of them we are just a bunch of maniacs who still believe in some impractical and antiquated myths and in something which no one has ever seen.
So we should not delude ourselves. For some of them we will never come close to competing with the attractive hedonistic lives they are living where nobody restricts their freedom. They are free to behave like they want until there’s some kind of a turn in their lives. Only God Himself can change that.
So what can we do, we can greet them, pray for them, for it is not through our doing that we may bring them closer to God’s love. It is only God that will make them hungry sometimes even by the despair in their lives. We are doing nothing here by ourselves, God is doing everything. Even a friendly smile or a good word may change things in an instant.