This week, I was struck by a set of stories revolving around the response of a few Muslims who ventured to the places in Paris where mourners were gathered. They held signs that identified them as Muslim, included words communicating their sorrow, and offered hugs.
In an atmosphere of panic, fear, hatred, and uncertainty, these individuals responded with what they had – their humanity. It was a risky move to enter a crowd of people in those conditions, yet they stepped into it and those who took them up on the offer expressed their appreciation for the act of comfort.
God has equipped each of us with the ability to melt barriers — internal and external — with the power of touch, the impact of one soul connecting to another.
Richwoods works at being the kind of people where God forever changes the hearts and lives of those who encounter us. Each and every moment God gives us an opportunity to impact someone else through touch, or at the very least a genuine look into their eyes and a smile.
Tuesdays can be very busy days at the church. It’s the one day all of our staff are together and it’s filled with meetings. My head is often swimming with conversations that need to be had and thoughts that need to be communicated. This past week was no exception, but for some reason as I pulled out of my drive I felt compelled to slow down and notice the people I passed in my neighborhood.
The smile on the sanitation technician’s face when I stopped to wish him a Happy Thanksgiving was priceless. I nodded to the grandfather who just helped his grandchild onto the school bus and waved to the lady who was walking her dogs. I felt like I was entering into their world for a moment, it felt like the right thing to do.
Nobody enjoys being invisible. They say it takes eight or nine genuine greetings for someone to feel welcomed at a church. Let’s be the people who will take a risk, to be vulnerable enough to extend a handshake, to offer a hug, to look another individual in the eyes and exchange a smile.
As we allow others to encounter us, God will draw people who are far from him to himself.