“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35).
I’m so tired right now. Soooo tired. Yet strangely agitated, almost giddy. Like I’ve swallowed a gallon of caffeine except for that I haven’t. My body says cease! But my spirit shouts move, woman! Move!
There is work to be done for the kingdom.
At the moment I’m typing this post from a cramped window seat 30,000 feet above ground, on a flight home from the Proverbs 31 She Speaks Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina. I went there to get inspired. To spend time with friends. And to let the Lord whisper deep into my heart. And do you know what He told me?
Not write the next best-seller or find five more hours in your day to invest in social media (thank the Lord).
He didn’t even tell me to give in to the mom guilt and quit writing so I can lounge poolside with my kids. Although I am still doing some of that while I can.
Nope. He didn’t tell me any of that.
He told me to smile.
Be nice to people.
Tip the cab driver.
Thank the bathroom attendant.
Hug the girl who’s shaking in her cute platform sandals because she’s about to meet a publisher and bear her naked soul.
I know her. I was her.
In many ways, I still am.
And we need each other, we followers of Christ. We need to love one another, support one another, think outside of ourselves and serve one another. Because all a girl has to do is turn on the TV to see what a crappy place this world has become. Violence upon more violence, fear upon more fear.
But you know what? This is still God’s green earth. It’s still His. And so are we.
So I need to ask you a question.
Does anybody know?
Can anyone tell?
What about you says, I follow Christ?
In a world of increasing dark, are you shining a light?
That was the question staring me in the face this past weekend. Am I shining the light of Christ? I want to. I really do. But I’m afraid I’ve been letting my candle flicker lately. When I’m stuck in my own to-do list and analyzing my own emotional needs. When I nag my husband and snap at my kids and forget to call my mother to say, hey, by the way, I’m going to North Carolina. No worries, she saw it on Facebook.
When was the last time I really looked beyond myself enough to see the person in front of me not as someone ancillary to my personal life but simply as someone God the Father loves?
Which means I ought to love that person, too.
So I’m setting myself on a journey. How many people can I bless in a day? In an hour? How many ways can I die to self and remember Jesus came not to be served but to serve?
How can I make a difference, one smile at a time?
That’s my quest. Will you join me?
Let’s look into the eyes of the grocery store clerk and call her by her name.
Let’s walk into daycare and ask the toddler teacher how we can pray for her today.
Let’s quit nagging our own husbands to pick up their socks. And simply hug the man when he gets home from work, as if today might be your last.
If I do it and you do it, and the people we touch do it, too, and the people they touch and so on, oh my HEAVENS just imagine! What if?! Together we can build a circuitry of Jesus-freak light SO bright that it burns and blinds the enemy’s vision. People will not be able to resist the glow.
We can be like beacons of hope to a hurting world.
Start there, for today. And see how genuine kindness and attention to another human being can spark real change. I’m banking on it. You know why? Because the Bible says we can.
“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14–16, MSG).