We Christians are an interesting group of people. We leave Sunday church with verbal intention of sharing the Good News but when the awkward unpredictability of culture impresses upon us there is a tendency to flock back to the safety of our own where like-mindedness and God-talk flow freely.
To be around people of shared faith is important. Certainly it promotes the accountability and encouragement we all need in this difficult life. But, it doesn’t do a lot for the building disciples of all nations piece. That requires purposefully stepping outside of our box and into the world around us.
I’m always watching how people do this well because I wholeheartedly believe faith lived speaks much louder than words ever will. I know there’s room for growth in my own life and rejoice in daily opportunity to improve.
When Rebekah said, “I feel Eternally responsible for every word that comes out of my mouth” she had my attention.
Our lives crossed because she’s part of my daughter’s world. Before my oldest was even assigned time with her she walked into Rebekah’s space and announced it to feel like “home.” The feeling only grew and it left me wondering what it was about this woman that she could make a child feel so secure without any verbal backing to what I privately knew guided her heart.
Opportunity would present for our time to cross. I studied her, although she didn’t know it. Encouraging words were placed all around. Her voice carried with calm except in moments meant to make her people laugh. Grace-filled coupons piled on her desk to remind kids that a mistake doesn’t make them a failure. Life inspiration was intertwined into book lessons. Information gathered to better know each child’s heart created ability to make each moment valuable for the pair of eyes facing her. And they do. Like they can’t get enough.
Rebekah exemplifies love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control. Fruits of a Spirit they are eating up without knowing it. They look and listen to her and see Someone Good.
And she does it simply by loving people where they are at. It’s their turf. Their questions. Their needs. She’s right there…and it makes the people she comes in contact with desire that confident, joy-filled living in their own lives. What feels like “home” becomes something those with her seek to emulate. Her Guide magnetizes.
Christians in the secular workplace, allow me to tell you thank you tonight. Thank you for creatively inspiring all of us to be more effective in our own lives. Thank you for taking heart the commission to being salt and light. You are growing faith in the faithful and sparking Hope to those who don’t know Him. I know it isn’t an easy task and yet it is the most important thing any of us could ever do.
Jesus always went to people. We must do the same in a way that relates to their experience.
Soon Rebekah will move on to serve God with another in a new way. Bittersweet tears fall but the root of our thoughts we will always be
May we all live by example.
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