Did you ever know, that you matter? That the things that you do and say on a daily basis matter? That for a split second, the person you smile at, frown at, say a kind word to, say something careless to; that you have impacted their life? And even if, on a daily basis, you are just a blank face to someone; the face you wear, the manner with which you treat that barista fixing your coffee, what you say as you walk away from the counter—- All that matters!
It’s incredible. And I believe that sometimes God uses the words of a stranger to help us see what the people who love us have been trying to tell us all along. I remember several years ago, we attended Colorado Community Church. As far as I can remember it was a typical Sunday morning; I was sitting with my family, we sang and listened to the sermon and then got up to leave. But on our slow way out a woman approached me. I know I had seen her before, perhaps another time she had sat behind me as we greeted each other across the row before the service began. She came up to me smiling, put her hand on my shoulder and said, “God has great plans for you. You just follow Him, okay?” I was surprised, but I smiled back, and said, “I will.”
Now this isn’t one of those bizarre moments when someone comes up to you on the street and claims to know your future. It wasn’t necessarily that she had the gift of prophecy, though, perhaps she did. But what she told me was true. God does have a great plan for my life. He has a great plan for all of our lives. And our parents and friends and pastors will be trying to drill that home for all of the time we spend with them because they love us. But sometimes, you just need someone else to tell you; you need someone else to see the hand of God on you, and to tell you that you are special and loved.
And it matters! She gave me an encouraging word as a sister in Christ and it mattered! I believed her. To this day I still think about her, and the way she looked and what she said. Maybe her words came at just the right moment, or on one of those days that I was doubting that I was really worth anything at all. But, it also helped me to listen to the other people around me like my family, friends and pastors; who had been telling me the truth all along.
Which is why, as Christians, we have been called to be a light in the darkness. (Not only in the world but amongst each other.) We have called to be truth. To be salt and light. To illuminate and to preserve! We are called to be kind to every person we see and to treat them as though they were Jesus himself standing before us, asking for a drink. And every word we say matters! Even to the people fixing our coffee. Even to the grouchy check-out lady who you try to avoid each week. Even to the waiter who didn’t get your food right. If we pause, and take a minute to think about these people; to think about their lives besides where we see them, to wonder why they have dark circles under their eyes, to wonder what makes it hard for them to fall asleep at night. If we truly see them as Jesus does, how would we act differently?
As Christians, I think it’s time we stopped wearing our rose colored glasses of indifference and selective blindness; stop pretending that your ignorance is holiness. Stop the Christian culture that has become so distorted in our time that even non-Christians know that Jesus would shake his head and weep to see what hurt we inflict in His name. I think it’s time that we put our Jesus glasses on; to see with truth, to open arms with love, and to not be afraid of seeing the darkness because we carry, within us, the Light.