I love to watch people. It gives me great delight to observe the antics of children or the funny interactions of some adults. As I wait in line at the store or I am out for a walk, I take note of those around me. I wonder what their lives are like and how they are feeling in their current situation. Some cases even cause me to ponder what might be the story behind the story – what is truly going on their lives behind the scenes? I am always curious what makes people tick and why they behave the way they do.
My overarching feeling is a I want to help and make things better for people. When I see a child crying after falling from a bike I just want to pick him up and help him on his way. When I see an older lady faltering along as she makes her sojourn to the store, I want to walk alongside her and offer some support and comfort.
I must admit that some people make me want to turn around and go another way. I find it challenging to try to connect with people who are loud and obnoxious or others that are blatantly unconcerned with those around them or caught in self destructing behaviours. There is no doubt that some people manage to rub me the wrong way and that irritation does not make it easy for me to take an interest in their world.
Yet I need to be reminded that God takes an interest in all humankind, no matter what their life station, disposition, appearance, or lifestyle. No person I could ever meet is out of the reach of God’s abiding love. I need to remember that fact when I am annoyed or upset with someone.
Each person is God’s own special creation. Jesus is the Saviour of each and every one, as He is mine. The hope He brings is for everyone, whether they fit into society or not.
That fact is a game changer for how I approach my interactions with people. Rather than look inward at how I deal with the time God gives me, it gets me thinking – Lord, who will you put in my path today that needs to see Your light in me?
If I only seek particular clientele to reach out to with God’s love I have missed the main point of the Gospel message. Rather than asking God to particularly help me deal with so and so, it is far better if my request to God is, “How can you use me today in Your kingdom?”
In Matthew 5:16 we are told, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. “(NIV) This tells me I must have more focus on asking God how I can glorify Him with my day so that His light shines through all I do or say.
If you think about Jesus’ ministry here on earth you see care in action. Jesus did not spend His time with the wealthy and influential people of the day. He was among the general populace, caring for the sick and needy and persecuted. Jesus went so far as to deal with the lowest of society at that time – adulterers, tax collectors, and thieves, for example. He continues to be there for all who seek Him, offering us the free gift of salvation and caring for us with His immense loving heart.
I cannot always directly help those in need or take the sad expressions away or improve the situation of the downtrodden. At the very least, I can treat each person I meet as God’s unique creation and offer them the hope and grace that only Christ can provide. Sometimes my role is praying or working to make the system better. Other times God might have other ways for me to offer care or intervention.
Have you ever made a sour expression to someone you meet in the world who displeases you? Now is the time to rethink how we approach people. It is amazing what a smile or kind gesture will do to show interest and concern. It is a good starting point towards sharing God’s love.
My life of faith would not be complete if I didn’t share the joy, peace, and hope I have with others. Be open to how you might change your day plans to include being Christ’s light in the world in life today.