Can I Get A Witness
A witness is someone who has, who claims to have, or is thought, by someone with authority to compel testimony, to have knowledge relevant to an event or other matter of interest. In law a witness is someone who, either voluntarily or under compulsion, provides testimonial evidence, either oral or written, of what he or she knows or claims to know about the matter before some official authorized to take such testimony. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witness)
Last week on the way home from work, I witnessed a pretty bad accident on the way home from work. I was right behind a car that pulled into an intersection prematurely leading to a three car accident. It was surreal. The accident seemed to happen in slow motion as an oncoming car slammed into the car as it crossed into the intersection. The car at fault was then pushed into another car across the street that was waiting to cross the road. I felt like I was in a movie as I saw two of the cars go airborne.
I called 911 explaining the situation. After recommending that an ambulance be sent to the scene of the accident, I explained that there were most likely injuries. The 911 dispatcher connected me with a state trooper who asked for details and requested that I stay there until a trooper arrived on site. Apparently, I was the only witness to the accident, and they wanted my testimony.
When the trooper arrived, he inspected the cars, the roads, and those involved with the accident. He took notes. He checked in with the paramedics who were already on the scene. He took a few more notes. And then he came over to me to get my take. It was a quick discussion. I was able to confirm the details that I observed. And then he sent me on my way. I had completed my job as the witness.
When you hear the word “witness”, what comes to mind?
Maybe, you think of the 80s movie (Witness) starring Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis in which a young Amish boy witnesses a murder.
Maybe, you think of The People’s Court, Judge Judy, Night Court, or another courtroom drama or sitcom in which someone is called to testify.
The term witness is met with mixed thoughts and emotions when it is tied to the church. Christians are often afraid to share their faith concerned with how they will be perceived. Some Christians are afraid that they will be compared with street preachers or Jehovah’s Witnesses. Many fail to “witness” because they are afraid of rejection. Some simply feel inadequate, “What can I say that would make someone follow Christ?”.
I’m not sure what you think about witnessing, but it seems pretty clear that we are called to testify – to witness – to others about the truth of Christ, His love, and His sacrifice on the cross. The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) directs Christ followers to go into all the world teaching others about Christ – to witness.
What and who gives us this authority to share our testimony? The Great Commission provided by Christ himself provides this authority, and our own experience with God gives us a compelling testimony worth sharing. So how can we do this? Many of us wouldn’t proclaim to be gifted speakers or preachers. But that shouldn’t stop us. Witnessing to others can include words, but it also can be through our actions.
I love this quote by Saint Francis of Assisi:
Preach the gospel at all times — If necessary, use words.
So a challenge for you and me is to be intentional in our words and in our actions today. May our words and deeds bear witness to the truth of Christ that longs to permeate the lives of everyone.
How can you be a witness today to those around you who need to know the love and truth of Christ?