I have had this on my mind for a week now. A moment I experienced, a moment I witnessed, a moment that left me asking questions.
This moment occurred in downtown Dallas last weekend at a teacher conference. A group of us were walking from a hotel where the conference was to Jason’s Deli to eat lunch. It was several blocks away and the people watcher that I am was soaking in all the smiles and even busyness that surrounded me down the streets.
The first moment I witnessed was the older gentleman, wearing older blue jeans, a gray shirt that said JESUS in bold letters across, tennis shoes, and holding a bible high for everyone to see while he preached the good word. I was in awe. I wanted to stand there and listen to him preach but I couldn’t get lost from my group either.
We entered Jason Deli, and the crowd was starting to come in, a co/teacher and I were talking to each other in line. We were having a serious conversation about our faith, family, health, and even loss. Enjoying this conversation with no judgment bearing down on one another. There was this woman behind me who was listening to our conversation in line, and each time we made eye contact I would smile, yet she didn’t smile back. The cashier was about to say next and before I could take a step to the counter, the woman behind me stepped over me and got right in my face and said with a stern voice your next! I smiled, said thank you, and ordered my food. No biggie. She proceeded to talk about people like me and such and sat right next to our table and listened again. This was my second moment.
We left Jason’s Deli and I felt a little sad that I obviously irritated the lady, unintentionally. We headed down the busy streets of Dallas taking a different route. My third moment was waiting for me at the next street corner. The older gentlemen preaching the good news again. I was yet again in awe. Struck by the beauty of this man’s heart. a man most people probably didn’t even notice during their busy lunch schedules. Although I stared at him with a big smile he didn’t look at me. He was busy preaching about JESUS. He was doing what God called him to do. Spread the good news.
I thought about those three moments all afternoon. What did it mean? What was God trying to tell me? Why couldn’t make this woman smile? I can talk to anyone yet I irritated her. My heart continually focused on this man with his JESUS shirt. He was bold and obedient. He was passionate and dared to be different with a purpose.
I was convicted.
I want to spread the good news with everyone but do I always do that in every encounter? Do I get shy? embarrassed? even scared to be judged? Do I dare to be different in a bold way that will permanently leave a memory of a moment encountered all about Jesus?
I certainly try but I could do better.
Jesus gave his only son for me. So why I am not giving my all to him?
Standing on the corner of a busy downtown street may not be what God has planned for me. Although I responded respectfully to the woman at lunch, I could have shared more love than I did. I could have said thank you so much you have a blessed day instead of just thank you. I can’t bring that moment back but I hope she remembers me for saying thank you with a smile.
A moment. So quick. sudden. unexpected. lasting. ever changing.
This three encounters left me with this question.
What memory am I leaving with each person I encounter at each moment?
“Then you will be innocent and without anything wrong in you. You will be God’s children without fault. But you are living with crooked and mean people all around you. Among them you shine like stars in the world.” ~Phillippians 2:15 (ICB)
I hope to see you again soon sweet, sweet man, being bold yet loving, teaching the good news of God to everyone you encounter each and every moment.
Click on the picture above for the DIY window art.