Our latest sermon series at Highland Oaks was called Engage. While at first look it actually always makes me think of Captain Picard in "Star Trek the Next Generation" because that was the word he used when it was time to take off... :-) the sermon series was actually about engaging the people we come in contact with everyday; people from all walks of life. Our minister, Pat Bills, actually had a different person come in each week, all from a different journey in life and have a conversation with them about what they wanted "us" to know about them and their journey. It was a wonderful & enlightening series! You can actually check it out here if you'd like at hocc.org. By clicking on the Engage graphic you can watch the video of each sermon.
That series has caused me to want to be more aware of the people around me and their circumstances. I want to always be ready to Engage anyone. Whether it's with a smile, a kind word, a drink of water, whatever it is that God presents me with or asks me to do.
As you probably know, I work for Highland Oaks. This week while I had been thinking about the Engage series, I went out of our building to take the days mail to the mailbox. There was a lady sitting on the bench outside of our doors. I asked her if I could help her with something and she said "no, I'm just waiting on the food pantry to open". We then went on to have a wonderful conversation and she started asking me about our church. I gave her some general information and she asked me how long we had here at this location. She said "I have lived here for a long time and I have never noticed this building before this week". I told her God must have had a reason for her to see it now. She told me that she would love to come to church on Sunday but first she was going to have to see about her shoes because they weren't very comfortable. She was talking about her "Sunday" shoes. I told her she was great the way she was dressed and to come and not worry about her "shoes". She plans to come and I hope that I run into her again.
When I came back into the building as I walking to the elevator I saw this coming around the concourse through a stream of light. There was no one else in that area of the building except for me. After what had just happened with the lady outside I immediately thought, "that looks like the footprints of Jesus". It reminded me that no matter where we are or what we are doing, God is providing us with an opportunity. God is putting someone in our path. Not someone to preach to, or someone we need to convince to come to church, etc. Not that those are bad things, but sometimes God is putting someone in our path who just needs a smile, needs a drink of water, needs pleasant conversation and most of all needs love. Sometimes God puts people in our path so that we can touch them with the fingerprints and footprints of Him. I know that God had me go to the mailbox at that particular time for a reason. Because 9 times out of 10, I don't go to the mailbox. I take the mail when I leave. But that day, God had a purpose; and I was blessed because of it!
My prayer is that I will always be aware of the people that God puts in my path. I hope this lady comes to church on Sunday so that she can receive more of what God has to offer her. But that's not why I spoke to her. And if she doesn't come on Sunday, that's ok too. I did what God asked me to do in that moment. I'll let Him worry about the rest of it.
I pray that I will continue to see opportunities to be the fingerprints and footprints of God. And that I will be the kind voice, the drink of water, the smile that someone needs. May God be Praised!
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