11.30.2012

INTRODUCING THE WORLD TO GOD:

I'll be honest, throughout much of my life I've not been very good about speaking God into peoples' lives.  And I want to change that.

I'm not talking about being afraid to have conversations about God or spiritual matters; I enjoy doing that.  Neither am I talking about sharing/explaining the gospel to people; I enjoy doing that.  But those are the deep conversations we occasionally privileged to have.

Instead, what I'm talking about are those brief encounters we have with friends and complete strangers, those quick opportunities we all have to momentarily speak God into some one's life.

I came to fully recognize my deficiency when I handled a traffic crash for a citizen.  When I finished the crash, the guy simply said, "God bless you, trooper."  And when I called him later, I noticed he answered the phone, "God bless you, this is Greg", rather than simply "Hello?"

I reflected on my own shortcomings at introducing the world to God, even as simply as saying, "God bless you", so I've been making a more concerted effort lately to do that.  I'm not talking about being "over the top" in mushiness, but I am talking about being intentional at introducing people to God.

Fast forward.

I've been taking my sons to school all week because my wife has been out of town.  Every morning at one main intersection near the school, the crossing guard (Wendy, I'd later discover) and I wave at each other and smile.  After 4 days of silent pleasantries, I decided, "Tomorrow, I'm going to buy her a hot chocolate."  (It's been relatively cold here in Michigan this week.)

This morning, I took my youngest, Benjamin (age 4), to Tim Horton's and we bought a small hot chocolate for Wendy.  I decided that I wanted to be more intentional in the way I gave Wendy the hot chocolate, and didn't want to merely say, "Uh, hi.  This is for you.  Bye."  So I refreshed my memory with the bible I keep in my car of the Aaronic, priestly blessing in Numbers 6:24-26.

I parked the car near the crossing where Wendy was staged, and Benjamin and I exited the car.  He carried the hot chocolate from the car and handed it to Wendy.  After he handed it to her, I picked Benjamin up into one arm and recited one phrase of the blessing at a time to him.  I did it in a way so that Wendy could hear the full blessing as I recited it to Benjamin for Wendy.  But, honestly, it was not just for Wendy.  It was for him, too.  I hoped he would join me in blessing her today. 

And did he ever! 
He said to Wendy quietly, "Bess you.  Tect you.  Smile you."

Wendy reached out and grabbed Benjamin's little hand as she sucked back the emotion.  It was truly a blessed moment.  I think in introducing Wendy to God this morning not only blessed her, but it blessed Benjamin and me, too.  Hopefully, this will inspire me to do this more, and to bring my children along with me so they will intentionally introduce people to God the way I have neglected over the years.

May the Lord bless you and protect you;
May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you;
May the Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this moving story.

    I think being intentional is huge. And I admit I don't do it often, but I want to. I don't know why I feel as if it is only appropriate to speak of God in certain contexts. It should rather be all the time, and intentionally as you did in this case.

    Being intentional is being missional. And we are all called to be missional.

    Great post. It gave me much to think about.

    My family and I recently reached out to a local soup kitchen that literally feeds the poor every day of the year. We are desiring to become more involved and to put hands and feet on our faith.

    - Ben

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    1. Brother Ben, a soup kitchen is a great way to be intentionally involved. Our house-church serves monthly at a local homeless shelter. I don't care to serve food as much as others in the group, so I do what we call "mingle minsitry". It provides great opportunities to talk and pray with a person or two. I'm not looking to do quick "drive by's", but look for one or maybe two conversations with homeless people who are open to conversation.

      Keep at it, bro!

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