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Another OA post

I have another post up at Ordinary Attempts, a blog of Jim Henderson's Off-the-Map. I wrote about an experience that can happen with any spiritual discipline, but this one happened with OAs, a discipline of paying attention and doing simple acts of love. (You can find out more here or read Henderson's Evangelism Without Additives, a book I highly recommend to anyone who's trying to understand what the "love others" part of the Jesus Creed means). Here's the beginning:

I have a confession to make. The other day, I discovered I was sick of doing Ordinary Attempts.

The realization came as I was talking with a woman I recently met. Only it wasn’t really a two-way conversation. The entire time she was talking, I was trying to figure out how to OA her. I walked away from our conversation feeling tired and a little peevish. Man, I wish I didn’t have to do this OA stuff, I thought to myself. I just want to have a regular conversation.

I almost stopped in my tracks. That was a lot like how I used to feel like when I walked away from conversations in which I was trying to “evangelize” someone—spending the entire time trying to figure out a way to get Jesus into the conversation so that I could talk about him.

Oiy. I thought I’d left that life behind me the day I walked into a clergy friend of mine’s office and confessed that I was through with “evangelism.” I was sick of the way evangelism in popular church culture treated people as targets and portrayed the process (even “relationship evangelism”) as notching up converts. I was tired of treating my friends and the people I loved that way. Yes, I desperately wanted them to know Jesus, but I also wanted to love and enjoy them—not treat them as targets. . . .
For the rest, go here. Blessings.

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