With SMI Philly based at my home church and neighborhood, I was able to offer a different perspective to the people we saw on the door-to-door medical outreach. I looked similar, spoke the same language, and was able to understand and relate with them when it came to common neighborhood issues. It was overall a very enriching experience, although at first, I did not really understand my true purpose in this mission field.
Wearing the scrubs amongst the people in my own neighborhood, with a backpack full of medical supplies and a stethoscope around my neck, I felt out of place. I was home, yet also at work, checking my neighbors’ blood pressures and glucose levels with the ultimate goal of sharing the love of Christ and the hope that He brings to our brokenness and emptiness. I had never done any kind of door-to-door outreach before, and to do it in my own neighborhood gave me a different perspective when looking at my neighbors. I had to question myself continuously of my true purpose in this mission field that was also my home. Could I not just live where I live and not bring my work into my place of comfort?
After each medical assessment, we gave an invitation to attend the church we were representing, if they were not already involved in another local church. When this occurred, I was able to emphasize that I lived right in the neighborhood and attend the church I was inviting them to. The reaction of one particular lady surprised me. When I gave her the flier that had my church information and expressed that I attend that church and live right around the corner, her eyes widened to the size of half dollars while pointing at me, “you?” Yes, me. It was surprising to her that one of these, quote on quote, “evangelical medical missionaries” could actually be one of her neighbors, one of her kind and not just an outsider like many others. She was predominantly Spanish speaking and I communicated that we offer Spanish translation at my church. Immediately she got up from her couch to grab a pen and write down my phone number to call me to pick her up to go church, because “I am her people” she expressed and she likes to socialize with her people.
The reaction of this lady, and many others, confirmed my role in the medical outreach opportunity I had participated in. Many felt more comfortable and at ease when they knew I was from the neighborhood and of similar ethnicity. I could literally see a sense of warmth and comfort come over them in their facial expressions and barriers between us and the patient immediately collapsed. God had given me this unique opportunity in my field of interest while also ministering where I live. It was His purpose to reflect Christ’s compassion through me and how He truly cares not only for the physical needs but also the spiritual needs of His people.
On our first afternoon up here, Pastor Jason from Urban Hope introduced us to some of the amazing stories of conversion and faithfulness that have happened in the church over the past years. In thinking about our following three weeks, he challenged us to do like Jesus:
“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Matthew 9:36-38
I had recently read a chapter in Paul Miller’s Love Walked Among Us, that talks about how before Jesus even did or said anything, he would LOOK at the crowds and have compassion. It struck me, that maybe we could think about what this “looking” is all about, for it is no mere coincidence that the words “looked” and “saw” are mentioned so many times throughout the gospels. Moreover, many of us are visual thinkers (I’ve heard it’s 60% of the population). So considering that we process the world through interconnected images and visual memories, it seems even more important that we understand the ways in which Jesus would see people.
As I’ve thought about this over the past three weeks, I’ve collected a few “images” that I find worth remembering. It’s easy to see the lacking and the broken in a place where financial poverty is apparent. So that is not what I’m going to talk about. Rather, I believe Jesus would also LOOK at:
- The love of mothers. In the majority of houses we walked into, we met mothers, grandmothers and children. While in some of the households the men were away at work, in others men were for the most part absent or uninvolved. That gave us a lot of opportunities to see and understand the remarkable sacrifices and commitments that mothers make to take care of and raise their children. I was often amazed at the extent of their unconditional love and care amid so much scarcity and chaos. Little girls always had very cute hairdos and mothers were always taking their children to play in swimming pools and hydrants. Many of the streets we went to were “play streets” that were closed off during the day so that children could spend the day playing in the streets. Each morning, a truck would stop by a designated house in each “play street” and deliver lunch and snacks to a mother who was responsible for feeding and watching over the children in the block. At a deeper level, we were able to hear several stories about mothers who quit doing drugs or quit smoking cold turkey so that they could offer their children a safer and more stable environment to grow up in.
- The humanity (aka. image bearing) in cities. While streets often displayed decay and violence, the interior each house we went to had a fresh and unique flavor of all the life, history and community that existed within that space. I would often let my eyes wander to the different portraits and decorations in each house, and found so much character represented in them! It was a great chance to get to see how the creativity and personality and trajectory in each house directly bore the image of God as the first creator, personal and relational being.
- Treasures of the heart. We heard several incredible testimonies of people who have endured unimaginable suffering and yet are able to trust in the goodness of God and hope in his promises. I was awestruck, particularly at our friend Aida, who showed me in a vivid manner what it means to “fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Co 4:18). Thus, Jesus’ ministry, in many was about seeing in people things that go far deeper than what meets the eye upon an initial encounter. Well yes, I suppose this is what the gospel is about – about the new and invisible kingdom that we are called to embody, and that Jesus started off in such amazing ways!
- Lastly, I am quite positive that Jesus would’ve also looked at my inability to look and have compassion (sorry if this is a bit of cheesy meta). I had a very hard time during my first week at SMI. I was emotionally exhausted and absolutely fed up with a sense of hopelessness because of the brokenness inside and around me, and that consequently drenched me in skepticism and distrust. I was unable to look, to love and to have compassion, and God taught then that not even my ability to look with compassion comes from my own strength. No no, it is God that gives it to us and it comes from our identity in him.
So yes, abba Father, please restore in us an eyesight that does not come from our own efforts, but rather are a fruit of all the joy and freedom that we celebrate in you!
To paraphrase a friend here at SMI who is keen on observing the characteristics of our society, “We live in a society..” which values education in academic settings only. What I mean by this is that the majority of our learning as a culture is limited to the classroom. Just look at the education any of the students involved with SMI are receiving, countless hours of schooling are dedicated to lectures and in-class learning. While I am convinced of the importance of learning from books and lectures, I believe this type of learning is only one-half of the complete educational process. The Bible speaks to this issue in Romans 12:2 – “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Clearly God desires to see us utilize the minds He has gifted us with. The method in which He calls us to do this, however, is different from the ways the rest of the world suggests. As I searched God’s Word I found Philemon 1:6 – “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.” Now that is what I desire, “a full understanding!” But note the plan God lays out: being active in our faith is what will lead to such knowledge. Talk about a “renewing of your mind,” what could be more radically different from the way of the world than actively putting the faith we learn of in the Bible into practice in our lives? I can think of no better opportunity to put my faith into tangible action than SMI. These three weeks have been a blessing beyond what words can describe in part because of the wisdom God has put in my heart through the sharing of my faith here in Philadelphia. So here are three valuable lessons the Holy Spirit has taught me:
1) The Value of Listening – In the healthcare profession, time is everything. Often professionals are forced to reduce time spent with individual patients because of the work load imposed on them. The people of this area and the world, however, are thirsty for people willing to humbly quiet themselves and lend an ear to listen to their stories. In the book of James chapter 1 verse 9 we are exhorted to “be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” How basic and yet how challenging are these commands in our modern culture. How many conversations do we have where all we do is wait for our turn to speak, rather than actually attentively listening to the other person. Conversations with members of the community here at SMI have exposed me to a hurting world, a world I would never get to know if my only role in conversation was to speak. Just the other day my group engaged a Muslim man in conversation. My group members were quick to ask open ended questions about his beliefs and then to listen as he explained. What happened next, though, bears testimony to the truth of God’s Word. After the man had exhausted himself speaking of his beliefs and then his struggles, we had the opportunity to share the gospel in a loving way with this man. Even more, the man was receptive because as he stated, we did not come across as judgmental or condemning. My point here is this, had my group not listened to this man, we never would have formed a relationship with him which fostered the opportunity to plant the seed of the gospel in his heart. Philippians 2:3 states, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” Praise our God and Father because that day He created such an attitude in my group. By considering what our patients have to say as more important than our own words, we have created innumerable realtionships where the good news of Jesus Christ can be shared.
2) Fear is a lie – Before arriving in the inner city area of Philadelphia I had many people give me odd looks or make comments regarding my safety during SMI. God encouraged me, however, with Joshua 1:9 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Arriving here and living in the urban environment over the past weeks has offered me time to internalize the truth of this verse. Fear is not of God, it is of the enemy. Walking the streets of this community has allowed me to see this area as home to many and a place where hope exists despite the presence of hurt and brokenness. Coming to the urban setting is not, contrary to popular opinion, a ticket to getting mugged or shot. Nor is every person here a drug dealer or criminal. In stark opposition to these societal stereotypes, those people who live here have been incredibly receptive. I can think of no other setting in which people would invite total strangers into their home to take their blood pressures and blood sugars assessed. I can imagine no other area where such people would also openly share the intense pain and struggles of their lives with students like myself after meeting for just a few brief moments. As I overcame this fear with the help of God’s Holy Spirit, I came to realize fear of man is foolishness. What can man do to me? I fear God and as Proverbs 1:7 promises, from this act I know God has rained knowledge and wisdom into my heart. This revelation has allowed me to share the gospel ever more boldly. As I go out to touch the lives of others I remember Matthew 28:18 ” All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” In light of that, why should I be afraid to share the faith in Jesus which has changed my life forever? SMI has broken down walls of fear in ways I would never have thought possible. Praise be to God.
3) Pain is a reality in bigger ways than I could ever imagine BUT God is a greater healer than I ever could have conceived! – While at SMI, the struggles of this world have confronted me face to face. Both struggles in my own walk with Jesus as well as the struggles of others have been blatantly obvious to me over the past weeks. In my past I grappled with an eating disorder, yet while I have been at SMI God has stilled my anxious heart. I am proud to declare that by the grace of my God, disordered thoughts about my own body have not been a part of my experience here this summer. The Lord even brought Psalm 17:14 into my life to assure me of His goodness. “You still the hunger of those you cherish.” Oh how true those words are! My troubles, however, are only part of the equation spelled out before me here at SMI. I have also borne witness to pain far beyond anything I have ever experienced. Last week I had a conversation with a brother and sister who live in a dilapidated home near our home church. They live in constant fear of others. 24/7 a camera feeds images of their front step to the TV in their home. This is all the result of unimaginable suffering in their lives. Here are some of the struggles these two endured and shared with my group: death of family members, incarceration, HIV/AIDS, molestation in childhood, rape in adulthood, and perpetual loneliness and fear. Their story moved me to tears and yet in that moment the Lord opened a door to sow seed of the gospel in their heart. Later, as I spent time debriefing my day with my Heavenly Father, I was reminded by the Lord of His special care for widows and orphans. James 1:27 reminds me that, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…” Praise God because He has given all of us at SMI the opportunity to do so. Above all, however, it is crucial for us all to remember this, “where sin increased, grace increased all the more,” (Romans 5:20). Therefore, even as I see the incredible pain members of this community suffer through, I can see even more and more grace and hope springing up in this area. In things as simple as a smile from a patient after providing a health screening and prayer, I see the hope of Jesus coming alive more and more each day.
I consider it a tremendous privilege to live out my faith as Philemon 1:6 encourages me to. I thank God for the knowledge He has instilled in my heart through the active sharing of my faith. He is the source of every good thing I have learned and experienced. Each day I know that our team is working towards bringing God’s kingdom here on earth (Matthew 6:9-10). No matter how dark some days may seem, there is always light to cling to. I am convinced of this: “the darkness is passing and the true light is already shinning,” (1 John 2:8). The members of this team are shinning the light of Jesus here and for that I thank God. We know this work can be painful but we are working for the glory of God and so we persist. One day God, “will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain,” (Revelation 21:4). Until that day, however, I, as well as all the students here are committed to shining God’s light into the darkness of this world. Take heart because the darkness can never overcome the True Light, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
We were coming to the close of the opening set of praise when the pastor of the local church I had been assigned to for the course of SMI called out to those who were in desperate need of Jesus. He asked those who felt called to come to the front of the altar, kneel down, and be prayed over. As we continued to worship through the altar call, I noticed that a number of people were going up and I felt encouraged. But the last person who came up really caught my attention. It was an elderly man who needed the help of his cane and a friend to get up to the front. Though he could not stand, he eagerly awaited for the pastor to come pray over him. But because the elderly man was not kneeling down at the front of the altar, the pastor missed him and I felt my heart drop. I wanted to get the pastor’s attention, but it was too late, and I saw the elderly man slowly walk back to his seat.
Suddenly, the phrase, “Lord, do not pass me by,” came to mind. Lord, do not pass me by.
At these words, my heart was wrenched. I was filled with grief that my own heart did not reflect this desperation, this need for Jesus. In truth, I had wanted to go up to that altar but, as per usual, was too timid to make that journey. My heart has grown hard, and has been filled up with things that will never satisfy over this past year as I tried to cope with the trials of my first year of medical school and moving away from my community in New York. I know that Jesus is the only thing that can change this broken heart, but fear – the fear of standing out, the fear of showing that I was broken, the fear of change – crippled me from chasing after the one thing that I needed and wanted.
But even in my weakness, God was right there and He used that incident to show me something more. He revealed that this cry is at the core of every person He’s created. Do not pass me by… We are a people who yearn to be acknowledged, who long to know that we have worth, and more than anything else, we are a people who need to be loved. I felt God challenging me to treat not only my future patients with this understanding, but to allow this desperate brokenness to infiltrate all of my relationships.
In our brokenness, we are able to acknowledge our humanity and with that, are able to truly love one another. It is exactly what God did for us. He saw that our hearts had fallen away from Him, and that grieved Him. In order to bring us back, He graciously came down in the form of human flesh and met us where we were, dead in our sin, unable to love. Then He did what no one else could do and overcame the grave so that we would be free to love and no longer bound to sin.
The word “pass” has been defined as to let go without notice, action, remark and as our culture has become one where the focus has moved away from valuing relationships and towards achievement and success, it’s easy, almost natural, to pass people in order to get to where we want to be.
But we as Christians, are called to love as Jesus loves and to walk alongside with those He places in our lives. As I reflect on our shared brokenness and on the stories of many people who generously invited us into their homes these past two weeks to share their lives with us, I feel God challenging me to always look a little bit deeper and to not just pass on by.
Pass me not, O gentle Savior
Hear my humble cry;
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by
- Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior
* The below images are pictures that I personally took of patients I’ve met. I hope you’ll be able to see a glimpse of God’s love for them as I have.
Please do not use any pictures without permission.
Going door to door can get monotone and ritualistic. I get in a routine knocking on people’s doors and asking them if they want us to screen them for diabetes or hypertension. I then proceed into their home if they welcome our team in, and I take their diagnostics as if I am treating a broken car. Most of the time it works that way, and I ask them about their spiritual health and we may say a prayer at the end. Thursday (7/11) was different. It started off weird in the morning; we noticed a small dog on the sidewalk as we were going to our first house. I like to think of myself as an animal whisperer, although I do not pet strays for the sake of not getting bit and costing the group a hospital trip for any number of diseases spread by animals. My cautiousness started when I saw this small stray dog. Of course, one of the group members bends down to pet this stray and then it begins to follow us. We had a team member who lived in the area and she did not like dogs. I figured let’s just not look back and out walk the dog, so it won’t bother us. The person in our group that did not like dogs was back there with this dog talking to it, telling it to go home. We asked her what she was doing because we were planning on ditching the dog. She told us it was her grandma’s dog. Here we are several blocks away from her house and this dog that she owns is just chilling on our route. We promptly walked the dog home after realizing it was her grandma’s dog, and I thought this had to be a God thing.
I was ready for something to happen or fall out of the sky since we were in the part of the neighborhood that we were not canvasing that day. Although, nothing happened as we went back to our planned location. We simply returned her grandma’s lost dog. We started knocking on doors just as we would have knocked in the past. After several homes we came to a couple that had children running around and they wanted some sort of relief. We mentioned the local church Urban Hope as being a place where they can take their kids and find community, and they were genuinely interested. The next house we stopped at was a very encouraging Christian couple that prayed for us and sent us off praying for us and wishing us the best after we screened them.
As we went on it was nearing lunch time and we needed to get back. Hurriedly walking back we passed by a house and a women called out as she was nervously smoking cigarettes “Are you the guys that take blood pressures?” As I approached her in my hurried response I said “yes, however we cannot screen you right now, but we can come back.” In her bleakness of a response I knew that we needed to just stay and pray, she said “My boyfriend died this morning.” It just dawned on me that she had hope that we could do more than just blood pressures. Out of her desperation she just wanted someone to listen to her. We prayed with her and we shared a moment of quiet reflection. For some reason God timed things so we could be walking outside during her smoke break and pray with her on her doorstep. It blew my mind that God chose us to be a source of comfort in this lady’s life.
After lunch we went to a few houses and we ended at this one house with a lonely man inside who just moved in. We took his blood pressure and it was high, so it was easy to transition to his loneliness and discomfort in life. We told him about Urban Hope Church and immediately he lit up when we mentioned its community. He came that night to men’s group.
All of these person to person interactions pointed to Jesus who used us that day to share in the work of his kingdom. Noticing that God was working in these people’s lives through our feeble unlikely hands gave me hope that we were actually making a real impact, and God was using us. Most of the ministry I have done is with suburban high school kids through Young Life, and the fruits do not show right away but are years down the line of trying and hoping that you are succeeding in loving them to the feet of Jesus. Here the people live day by day and can be more open to the presence of God and community. Both ministries are valid and point to our creator Jesus Christ.
One of the important things I had learned to do this past year, as a first year medical student, is to be efficient. I had one-hour lunch breaks where I needed to rush eating before changing into scrubs for anatomy lab; I would time my workout sessions to be 35 minutes (that is, if I went to the gym!) so that I can finish showering and get back to studying in exactly one hour. I would rush quiet times with God, because my heart was always anxious about the clock ticking away. Each day, my schedule was timed and rushed so that I could maximize my time of studying. Having grown up in a city for most of my life, I guess I was always used to a busy schedule. I also enjoyed being efficient because it made me feel better about myself; at the end of a productive day, I would feel competent, accomplished, and most of all, happy.
Coming into SMI, I had the same mentality that serving God meant being efficient as his workers and doing the best we can in the limited time we have. So when my team approached a woman who greeted us by her door with, “Oh I’m a medical assistant and I’m Pentecostal. You guys don’t need to screen me,” I naturally took a step back toward the exit gate, thinking we should visit other houses because it seemed like she didn’t need anything from us. It would certainly be more resourceful if we met another patient that was more desperate, perhaps one who hasn’t heard the gospel or has no access to health care. Despite my internal doubts and “awkward” attempts to leave quickly, she continued to talk to us about her job as a medical assistant and how much she enjoys learning. Then, she brought us inside her house to do a mini show-and-tell, and began to show us many things in her house.
As we began to talk more deeply about her life, my hurried thoughts and assumptions about her quickly evaporated and turned into tears rolling down my face. She shared with us her entire life story, from being sexually molested at a very young age, to how she became a Christian when she was a teenager, to being physically abused in marriage and currently undergoing a difficult financial situation. When I saw a well of tears in her eyes as she told the story, I felt a deep cringing of my heart because I saw remnants of pain that she endured throughout the years. My perspective about her radically changed within a couple of minutes, from thinking she got it all figured out – her health, job, and God -to realizing that she was brokenhearted and in need of a Christian community. If I had been more “efficient” and quick to judge, perhaps I would have never heard her story, prayed together, and invited her to church.
I remember a church friend telling me that she prefers taking road trips with her family from New York to New Mexico instead of taking a flight, because they get to spend time together and see cool things along the way. My first reaction was “WHAT? How can you drive all the way there with your two kids?” Looking back, I’m starting to understand her statement a little better. God’s will for me is not to be the most productive Christian or medical student and take the most efficient route to my future goals, but rather to love Him and love others along the way. I’m beginning to learn that God doesn’t always value efficiency and getting things done for the sake of the result; but rather, He longs for intimate conversations along the way, for us to enjoy His mere presence, and for us to trust that He is taking us to the right place despite uncertainty of future. God could have brought the Israelites to the Promised Land in a couple of days, but it took them forty years to get there! It’s going to be definitely a challenge during second year, when STEP 1 is right around the corner and I have even more responsibilities. However, I have faith that, just as God provided a pillar of cloud and fire for the Israelites in the desert, He will continue to guide me each day and make His presence known. My prayer and hope is that I can learn to fully appreciate and enjoy intimacy with God above all else, and to keep my heart open in anticipation of meeting beautiful people and seeing “cool things” along the way.
Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. – Psalm 34:8
Throwing on some scrubs, stocking up pockets with my pens, struggling to get my shoes on for another day… as humans, we can instinctively go through these motions like puppets. Whether you are a Christian or a non-believer, we can enter “auto-pilot” at times. When I first arrived at SMI, I was expecting God to use me in supernatural ways right away. Unfortunately, l came in with a narrow mindset that I was immediately going to be blown away by seeing how God works through an underserved, poorly-knit, and dangerous community. I had a whole vision set out in my head about how I wanted to interact with the community and comfortably talk, serve, and ultimately, relate or sympathize with the people living in North Philadelphia.
God has taught me a few things these past few days. The other day, I met P, a non-believer in his 20’s who had abused drugs, had a friend who passed away because of a drug addiction, and had dealt with a broken family. God taught me that I could never personally relate to this type of lifestyle. I was never a drug addict, I never had a close friend who passed away because of substance abuse, and I did not come from a broken family. No matter how much you want to relate to someone, you can never experience some horrific stuff other individuals have been through including having your spouse get raped, being sexually molested, or seeing your children die, just to name a few, if you have not experienced those things personally. Although we want to feel that same feeling to reach out and comfort, it’s just almost impossible to share that pain. P was ready to check his blood sugar. I went for the glucometer to check the numbers, and I knew I could break the ice. “Are you afraid of needles?,” I politely asked, and he jokingly said “Why would you ask me that?” I replied, “I’m just curious man, haha.” This is how I got to relate with and joke with him. After I checked his blood sugar I asked if he wanted a Band-Aid and a Popsicle, and we just got to laugh it off. He was finally comfortable enough to introduce himself to me with his nickname. The receptive behavior he expressed towards me made me smile inside, and I knew I could try and use this window of opportunity. Inconveniently, I was juggling another patient at the time, attempting to get their blood pressure. After Jean asked him about salvation and seeing P’s desire to turn his life around 180 degrees away from his drug addiction, I begged him to come to church for me. “Yo P, I’ll come pick you up to go to church man; just do it for me,” I smiled. Hopefully, I will be seeing him this Sunday, where he can learn to find joy in God, rather than earthly things. Additionally, I’m praying that he will ask God for a change of heart to desire to serve his enemies, his neighbors, and the Lord.
When I walked away from that man, God revealed to me an ignorance that had clouded my mind this past week and a half. I got to listen to marvelous testimonies, see the effects of traumatic experiences that appeared irreparable, and get to know the people on the streets of North Philly. Because of my own narrow mindset, I was unable to see how God was working throughout the community in each individual’s house, despite the 1-2 hours I spent with them talking about Christ. I was just going through the motions with these empty conversations. There was no conviction to just let other people know about Jesus and the sacrifice He made for us. My ignorance blinded me in sharing the joy we can find in salvation and sharing a relationship with Christ. My ignorance blinded me from letting broken people know that God will cleanse you by picking you off the ground and wipe away every tear. My ignorance blinded me from sharing that our Shepherd will put you through trials in some cases and snap the sheep’s, broken sinners hungry for Christ, legs to bring them back into the sheep pen (Dan Whang). I got so excited over one person that I lost sight of how God has been using me as a vessel, with the gift of wanting to serve through medical services, to shine light into the darkness, letting people know that hope exists by placing all your faith, trust, and love into Jesus. This trip has also dispelled the misconceptions of this community as well. I can confidently say that North Philadelphia is such a close-knit community where people actually love each other by serving and watching out for one another. Looking back, I’m glad God taught me this lesson, especially midway through SMI. Having God reveal this to me will convict me to fervently serve the Lord for the rest of the trip (better late than never). If you are reading this and feel like you are experiencing a season of just “going through the motions” without the right heart motive, let me tell you something. God perfectly orchestrates His show and He is the author of the play even though you may feel like a puppet. He will make His show happen whether you want to be in His performance or not. The question is: will you share the love and happiness of knowing Jesus by being part of his performance?