I recently read that Debbie Macomber, a best-selling author and avid knitter, made a list at one point of 30 people she would like to meet in her lifetime. Because she is now famous, she had gotten the opportunity to meet 19 of them. But, she said, she realized over time that the well-known people on her list weren’t as important as the people God puts in your way.
I like the way she said that. Think about the people you run into every day. Sometimes they are friends and sometimes strangers. It might be someone who cuts in front of you in traffic. Someone who acts rudely in line. Your boss who just yelled at you or gave you a bad review. What if God puts these people in your way so you can share his love, or encourage them, or learn a lesson?
People who act in loving ways toward us are easy to love back. Being kind to someone who is kind to us doesn’t require any effort or witness. But loving people when they are being unlovable is harder. Being kind to someone who is rude takes patience and conscious effort.
Each day we face these kind of challenges. If we bear consistent witness to God’s love in the lives of people God puts in our way, we never know how we might change their moment, their day, or even their lives. Are you kind even when no one is looking? Do you speak well of strangers while your children are listening? Are you patient as you stand in line? Do you notice the people around you even when distracted by all the things you need to do?
Pay attention to the people God puts in your way. Ask yourself how you can demonstrate his love even in the short time you might interact. Think about the witness you bear even with people you might never see again. These are the people that will determine what kind of Christian we might be.