Monday, July 2, 2012

Don't Miss Your Chance

Someone I know passed away yesterday evening. We weren't close - I'd call her more of an acquaintance, but we were "friends" as defined by social media. We did have several mutual friends and had gone to Church Camp together when we were kids, but that's about it. Her passing wasn't sudden. She had been fighting Leukemia for the past year (maybe longer) and I would catch snippets of updates occasionally in my Facebook news feed. Over the past month those updates became more bleak. 

What I keep thinking about most in hearing of her death is that I never sent her any messages of encouragement. And I feel guilty about that. I'm sure I whispered a few prayers for her, but I never took the time to tell her that I was praying. Never stopped to type out a quick, "Thinking of you during this difficult time."  No cards. No emails. Not a word. 

And now my chance is gone. 

It makes me realize how fleeting the moments can be in which we have an opportunity to touch someone's life. Not just family and friends, but acquaintances and even strangers. How many people do you interact with in one day?  Stop and think about it. Your spouse, children, coworkers, the cashier at the grocery store, the man on the street whose appearance is enough to make you tighten the grip on your purse. Without literally counting as I go through my day, I don't think I'd ever be able to come close to guessing.

We make hundreds, if not thousands, of connections each day. Connections in which we, as Christians, can impact a life. That impact can be positive or negative. Or probably more frequently... neutral.  I'm writing this today to remind not only myself, but each of you to strive for positive impact. Take two seconds and smile at the cashier. Whisper an encouraging word to the disheveled woman in the parking lot with three kids hanging off her limbs. Send a card {an actual piece of card stock with a pretty illustration} to say thank you to your child's daycare provider. Offer to pray with a friend who is hurting.  

The truth is, we might never know the effect that we have on a person just by smiling, jotting a note of appreciation, or voicing a simple prayer. But the bigger truth is that God does. He sees each chance we take for Him. Each attempt, no matter how big or small, to touch a life and allow a glimpse of Him to someone who might otherwise never get to see His face. His compassion. His grace. 

Take a minute right now to think of someone who you can encourage. Whose day you can make a little brighter by letting the light of Jesus pour out of you and into their life.  No matter how brief the moment, I guarantee the light will be blinding. 

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