My parents left St. Simons Island and went back to Ohio a week early. A good friend of theirs died and they wanted to attend the funeral. His name was Lyle Hinkle, and he was a pastor in East Ohio Conference for many years. Lyle didn’t have a “distinguished” ministerial career like Billy Graham, another pastor who died recently. He didn’t win thousands to Christ or grow huge mega churches. Most pastors don’t. Instead, Lyle worked faithfully out of the spotlight. He was kind, generous, and threw the light of Christ on anyone who came close to him. I wish I had been able to tell him, “I see God in you.”
Do you ever say that to someone? I am so blessed to have one person after another in my life that shows me God’s love. My parents, who still pray together every night before they go to bed. My good friend Karen who labors in ministry and has served diverse churches with love, strength, and courage. Val and Johnny who got married, sold everything, and headed out to bloom wherever God plants them. Marta, who always stood up for others, and now finds herself persecuted by injustice. I want all of you to know that I see God in you.
I see God in people that have gone on to their heavenly reward. Judy who led the music program at Wedgewood for years, using her gifts for God’s glory. Annabelle who sold her house and donated 10% to the church’s building program because she felt led by God. Dale, one of the smartest people I know, who lovingly cared for a wife with Alzheimer’s for 20 years. My grandparents, all of whom followed God faithfully and walked daily in his way. I thank God for their witness and that I got to touch their lives for a little while.
I am surrounded by a cloud of witnesses who daily show me what it means to walk in faith with strength and courage. Jenny who battles cancer and shines every day with the love of Jesus. Pam whose loving, servant heart has a hard time saying no to anyone in need. Tony who has maintained a faithful walk despite circumstances that would have destroyed the faith of others. Brenda who always sees the best in others – I wish I had her eyes! Laurie and Adam who led a worship service every Sunday at Death Valley for just a handful of folks and will be graduating from seminary in a couple of months. I see God in all of you and so many others.
I take every opportunity I can to encourage people in their walk as Christians. It always encouraged me when someone told me that my witness is important. In whom do you see God? Maybe you could write them a note, or send an email, or even just text them. “I see God in you” can be an encouraging thing to hear at a moment of doubt or in a time when courage is needed.
Matthew 5:14-16. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.“