Let me explain . . .
When I turned 16 I got my first job at a Christian owned restaurant. The owners (husband and wife) were members at a good Baptist church I have been to before, the husband being the song leader at the church. The night manager didn't have the same beliefs as me and my family, but he did try to live for God to a degree. One of the assistant managers was a Christian while several of the employees were faithful Christians as well. I was surrounded by good people. My co-workers who weren't believers had a respect for me either because I was a child of God or because they saw me as "still a kid". Several times when someone slipped up and cursed in front of me they apologized and said they didn't know I was there. This may not have been just because of what kind of Christian I was, but because Christians were respected at that restaurant.
Even a lot of my customers were Christians! This restaurant came to be a gathering place for all the members at the Baptist church where my bosses went as well as other churches. I made some very good acquaintances while working there. I loved my job!!!
But . . . it wasn't exactly close to home. So when an opening came at a restaurant nearer to my house, I was inclined to take it. Here, I believe I am the only Christian employee. The two ladies who claim to be Christians don't show any fruit and their actions show that they are not aiming to please Jesus. The women I work with live wicked lives, just like I would if I were not graciously saved by the blood of Christ. I am constantly reminded that I need to be an example to them, but it's not always easy.
I feel like a stranger. Sometimes I feel like no one there likes me. I feel all alone. Unbelievers don't care if they hurt your feelings. It doesn't bother a unbeliever to look past you and act like you are not there. Some unbelievers don't understand that everyone makes mistakes. Unbelievers don't care to make things right between each other. This might not be such a big deal if I only saw them a few hours a week, but I have to spend 40 hours a week with them in one small building. I'm not complaining, infact, things went a lot smoother this past week. It varies from week to week. Some times I feel like I can't take it another day, while other day's I don't find it so hard to hold on for a little while longer. Still, things would be a lot easier if everybody would try to get along.
I never realized how much of an impact God's love has on a person. I grew up around Christians so that was all I ever knew. Lost souls are so different. I know they need to see a Christian that consistently lives for God and cares deeply about others. They need to see that there is joy in living for God. But am I able to do that? It is hard to love them when some don't even want to talk to you. It's hard to show them that the Christian life is one of peace and joy when you don't feel like smiling?
Then I am reminded of countless missionaries who were hated for thier belief. Not just in the past, but in the time that we live in now. Just a few years ago a missionary over seas was threatened to be bombed in his home. He was obviously hated. How could he continue to preach God's love in such an atmosphere? One thing is for sure, he probably wasn't as sensative as me! Even so, it still had to be hard to go on when no one in the country seems to support you. It takes great Christians to be missionaries.
Now I feel like I know a little bit more about the missionary life. Unless God calls me to be a missionary I will never know exactly what they go through, but I think God reveals little things to us so that we will know how to pray for them. So pray I will! I will pray that God will give them the heart of Jesus who said while he was dying on the cross, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."