Close Encounters of the God Kind.
What caught your eye this summer? How green everything was after June’s deluge? The comparative scarcity of traffic during rush hour? That girls’ shorts were getting awkwardly short again? I have been on a journey of intentionally noticing people…and trying to influence others to do the same. It has amazed me how many people carry their feelings close to the surface and are actually relieved to find someone with whom to share them.
All it takes is awareness, eye contact, a bit of courage, and a few words- and an ordinary encounter can become a divine appointment. This past summer, I had three memorable moments when I knew for sure that God had orchestrated a meeting. One was with Margaret, a recent widow who greatly needed both someone with whom she could share memories of her beloved husband, and the hope that she could one day see him again. Elizabeth was hiding from her co-workers in a parking lot outside her office building, desperate for wisdom to face some big decisions that changes in her workplace demanded. Geri is a Mormon woman I met in the gym last week. She is new in Calgary and asked quite a few questions. Upon finding I write books about how to live with purpose, she confessed needing all the help she could get after recently divorcing her bi-polar husband, the father of her six kids.
Someone once said that most people are only three questions away from tears. I have no problem believing that is true. What an opportunity for the intuitive, Spirit-led believer. We know where community, comfort, and wisdom are found! Whether our encounters are with strangers, co-workers, or neighbours, we have a responsibility and an opportunity to direct people to Christ and His Body.
This fall as I address people in six live venues, I will be challenging them with an acronym I’ve created to make personal evangelism easy: LIFT
L is for LOOK- Notice the people around you, try to discern their emotions, and ask yourself what you could say to open a conversation with them that demonstrates genuine concern.
I is for INTERCEDE- Pray for them and your interaction with them.
F is for FRIEND- In this case “friend” is a verb like on FaceBook. Reach Out!
T is for TALK- Eventually you may be invited to speak about your faith. Don’t miss the opportunity.
Everyone has a sphere of influence. I can’t LIFT the people in your world and you can’t LIFT the people in mine. That’s why God needs us all to see the people around us with spiritual eyes. Your gifts and prayers will enable me to spread this message.