“When the Friend I plan to send you from the Father comes—the Spirit of Truth issuing from the Father—he will confirm everything about me. You, too, from your side must give your confirming evidence, since you are in this with me from the start.” (John 15:26-27, MSG)
“What is this mama?” my three-year-old said grabbing the rock from my car console.
“Oh, that’s my prayer rock, honey. Do you want to hold it?” I said.
“Yes!” she said grabbing it with her tiny hand.
She quickly tucked the rock into both paws like a squirrel who just found a precious nut. With her eyes closed and body tight, she prayed aloud, “Dear God, please help my toys come alive!”
I smiled at the genuineness of her prayer, and at the helpfulness of that silly rock. I say silly because it’s just a rock, but a very helpful one. Awhile back I wrote the word “faithful” on a rock, and made a promise to be more consistent in prayer. After a week of trying really hard, failing, and realizing that I had two small children and life was happening, I flipped the rock over and wrote another word: flexible.
Even though I wrote that word for practical reasons, more and more I’m starting to believe that flexibility and faithfulness are important for the holy spirit to work in our lives. If my schedule is so rigid, my day-to-day so planned out, where is there space for me to respond to the spirit’s nudging, when the time comes for us to–as the verse says today–give our confirming evidence to our faith?
This Lutheran girl gets a little shy around words like testify and witness, but when I googled “How to be a good witness,” I found this helpful list for preparing to be called to the stand in a courtroom. Some parts of it have helped me to think about sharing my evidence when called to testify in real life.
DO’S and DON’TS – Being a Witness (shortened from litigation.findlaw.com)
DO take a subpoena seriously.
DO be honest and forthcoming with your testimony. That doesn’t mean spill your guts out, but answer questions fairly and with intellectual honesty.
DO dress as well as you comfortably can.
DO follow your attorney’s advice.
DON’T ever guess. You are in a deposition or on the stand to give facts, not to try and figure out what might have happened. Even if makes you feel stupid to say it, sometimes “I don’t know” is the best answer.
DON’T help. It is human nature to want to explain things so that your listener understands. Resist the impulse. It’s is your opponent’s job to get the answers. IT is your job to answer only the questions asked, and not help.
DON’T try to be funny, unless you are actually Dave Barry.
DON’T get distracted.
DON’T answer a question you don’t understand.
DON’T take any drugs or alcohol before you testify.
1. What is your evidence? Why do you believe?
2. What is one way you can be a good witness this week not just with your words but with your actions?