On entering the battle without a sword

I spend a good bit of time doing evangelism. For the past few years the majority of this has been in tea shops, partly because I'm obsessed with tea, and partly because the shop owners are usually bored and therefore thrilled to pour me tea and talk for a while. A few months back I realized that I was frequently wanting to quote scripture to the person with whom I was sharing. I'm not particularly good at quoting scripture in general because I tend to remember concepts, not specific words or specific locations. Also, I remember those concepts in English and while I can communicate it's meaning clearly, any of the beauty of the writing is lost when I'm translating those thoughts into the local langugae.

The people I work with highly value the written word. And the Bible translation into this language really is quite fantastic. The more I read it, in fact, the more I appreciate just how well it was done.

Finally I started being convicted that I need to bring my Bible along with me when I go out for the express purpose of sharing. To be honest it's rather embarrassing this never occurred to me before. I suppose the size of my bi-lingual Bible has been some of the reason for not bringing it along, but throwing it in a bag just isn't a big deal. And I've already been impressed at how often I'm able to pull it out and share something from it.

As I mentioned recently on my reading through Edward Payson's writings, I definitely don't treat this book at the all-inspired word of God I believe it to be. And I should.
"In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. " - Ephesians 6:16-18
This verse has been on my mind lately. And the idea of a soldier entering battle without his weapon, without his sword, is preposterous. Especially in retrospect, to think through the many opportunities I've had to take out my sword, but haven't had it on me because it was a little big to be convenient to bring along. I'm ashamed of myself.
"For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." - Hebrews 4:12
I believe the Bible is the word of God. I believe it is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword. I believe it is capable of piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow. I believe it is capable of discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

If someone told me they could make my evangelism more effective because they had a tool that could do all this, I'd first of all tell them they were crazy. Then I'd ask to see it. Then I'd ask to borrow it and never return it.

A solider should not enter battle without his sword. And likewise when I've been offered the sharpest, most piercing and discerning sword around, I would be foolish to consider evangelism without it.

I keep trying to think of something clever about tracts and the Bible, but can't pull it together. A tract is certainly useful in many situations and I cannot downplay the role they have had in the salvation of many. But an uninspired small booklet, next to the inspired word of the Almighty God? I want to say something like, "That's not a knife, this is a knife." But then again, maybe entering a battle with both a dagger and a sword is not a bad idea.