The first day we moved into our new house a couple of small dogs wandered into our yard and yapped around. I figured they’d snuck out of their own yard, so I corralled them from house to house searching for their owners. Along the way I got to meet some of my new neighbors and they each pointed me in the vague direction of where they thought the dogs belonged. So I zigzagged around my new neighborhood, a shepherd with two very stubborn sheep.
We came upon a neighbor out walking; I timed my speed poorly so I had to awkwardly step in stride with her. She had earplugs in, so I waved and mouthed hi like a weirdo. So she removed the plugs and introduced herself. Karen, 18 and a recent high school grad, she had tight black curls, a big laugh, and a deep country accent. She helped me find the owners of the pups and walked back to my house with me.
Standing in my driveway she shared about her life. How she’d moved up here to live with her father and stepmother who she never knew. She’d lived with her grandmother growing up and always went to public school, but here she went to a small private school. Karen shared how her step-mom had chased her kicking and screaming to Jesus. She had thought that if she became a Christian she wouldn’t have anymore fun, but it wasn’t true. Karen shared how now she has way more real joy than she ever had before.
She opened herself up and told me about the most important thing to her. Jesus. And what blew me away was that I hadn’t let on that I was a Christian or in any way prompted her to tell her testimony. To her I was a stranger she knew for all of 15 minutes! Her heart to share about what Jesus did for her simply poured out of her. For her it seemed a normal part of meeting a stranger.
For me it marked a beautiful end to a beautiful day. Moving into the community I’ll be trying to love and serve only to be met with the gospel – what a sweet way for Jesus to welcome me into the neighborhood!
Karen challenged me to be more aware of God’s mission as I’m meeting strangers throughout the day. She reminded me that it’s natural and good to share who I really am with those around me. So today what can I do to bless, inspire and call to Christ the hearts of those around me?
I want to grow in my readiness to share my story of God’s goodness, don’t you? Today let’s keep our eyes on the alert and our hearts open to the people God places in our paths.