Many years ago, I was sitting in a Subway eating lunch with my kids. Another family had finished eating and headed out the door. They were dressed pretty ragged and not particularly clean. So much so, that even my young children noticed. This family was a father and three children. The children were wearing clothes that were extremely oversized and obviously not children’s clothing. I watched out the window as they crossed the street to wait at the bus stop. Every part of my being wanted to go buy a Subway gift card and walk to the bus stop to give it to them. About ten minutes passed, the bus arrived and they were gone. Ten minutes. I had plenty of time to act, but I didn’t. I did do the one thing I knew how to do. I prayed. I used the opportunity to help my kids understand the importance of praying for other people. Even those we don’t know. So, I didn’t do absolutely nothing, but I was still troubled about not doing enough with the opportunity God had laid before me.
I mentioned that every part of my being wanted to do something. I know that wasn’t me, it was God. He was nudging me to act, but I just sat there. What if I was wrong? Maybe they weren’t down on their luck. Was I making an incorrect assumption based on their appearance? What if I insulted them and made them angry with my gesture? Even worse, what if I completely embarrassed myself? These are very normal questions we have when we are considering putting ourselves out there. But, instead of acting, I made this situation about me and my issues, instead of listening to what God wanted me to do.
Acting out our faith can be terrifying, but it doesn’t have to be. Sharing our faith with others can be as simple as holding a door for someone at the grocery store, or it can be as big as traveling across the world to share the Gospel with people in a village in a third world country. It can also be anything in between.
Acting out our faith is part of our own journey. It’s probably one of the most challenging parts of our faith. We believe and we know we are called to be the hands, feet and voice of Jesus. But, it’s not always easy. I don’t think God wants it to be easy, at least not all of the time. I think he wants us to stretch and challenge ourselves to do things we not be comfortable with because that’s what Jesus did.
I’ve thought about that family at Subway many times over the years. I’ve wondered what kind of difference I might have made in their lives if only I had acted out my faith. If only I had listened to God’s nudging. I know God isn’t angry or disappointed in me. I think He knows I was and still am on my faith journey. I’m learning more and more all the time about listening to Him and letting Him work through me….even if it might be a little uncomfortable or even little embarrassing! – Dee Ann Lord, Children, Youth and Family Coach