“Lord, what do you want me to do for You?”
For years this was a recurring theme in my life. I felt I wanted to do more to tell people about Jesus. But how? Then I heard the pastor say, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” Those nine words convicted me.
And now years later, I am on mission constantly. But it started out slow. At first, I felt intimidated about going into new places and talking about God with people who didn’t know me. I talked to my pastor, Sunday school teachers and church family about opportunities to be the hands and feet for Jesus. At this point it wasn’t the options, it was my insecurities that held me back.
That’s when a new friend said, “Pray about it.”
Pray? Just pray? So I did.
Back then, we moved a lot with my husband’s job. For about four moves I prayed, but did nothing more than gather information and help out in the “safe zone” at church.
On our fifth move during our first visit to a new church a woman came up to me, introduced herself, and asked me if I’d like to attend a seminar with her to learn about volunteer opportunities in the community. Her smile and friendly demeanor was irresistible. Leading me by the hand was just what I needed. With her enthusiasm and encouragement, I jumped right in.
For the next nine or ten moves, God used me in different ways. Sometimes I couldn’t believe where He led me. With each mission, I grew more and more in my faith because I began to see the tremendous need in every community. And the side benefit was the bountiful blessings I received over and over again.
It’s about planting seeds.
I’m spinning thinking of all the opportunities God has given to me to witness and extend my hands, feet and heart to those in need. I call it boots on the ground, pounding the dirt, and readying it for seed planting.
I used to think planting seeds also meant I would see the harvest. Once I realized we all plant seeds and few bring in the harvest, then I became a seed farmer, planting every chance I got.
It’s amazing how God has brought me to fertile ground for planting seeds. You don’t need an agenda; it’s the places you go every day. Walmart. CVS. Doctor’s offices. Fast food lines. Food Lion. Post Office. Neighbors. McDonalds. Nursing Homes. Hospitals. Exercise facilities. Public restrooms (please don’t laugh). And the list goes on and on.
My head is swimming with stories of all the people I’ve talked to while waiting in lines. I’m always standing somewhere, waiting. I think God got tired of my fidgeting, and dropped a hint, “Do what I would do in this situation.” (Don’t you love it when that happens?)
Well, why not? So I began making eye contact with everyone.
Then I ran into the people who refused to look my way. I understood. I’ve had to work on myself for years to keep my head up, gaze scanning. But lately it seems it’s getting harder to engage folks. So . . . I’ve figured out a way to win them over. If they’ve got a child, talk to the child. Even if the adult never gives you the time of day, the kid loves it.
Sometimes I’ll get people’s attention by asking them about something in their cart. “I haven’t tried that one. Is it any good?”
I’ve commented on clothes and cute hairdos (even the blue, pink, and red ones). I’ve helped the elderly unload their groceries. I’ve commented on how beautiful someone is or how tired they look. The last question gets more attention. People need to know people see them and care. I’ve gotten lots of hugs by just caring.
But I have to admit something . . . every time I reach out isn’t always fruitful, but enough times are to keep me using the waiting times wisely. And . . . I always get a blessing or a laugh, even if it’s a child’s smile or their tongue extended in annoyance.
So the next couple of posts will be about reaching out and planting seeds. It’s actually contagious. Recently I’ve had two people reach out to me. Both times I was distracted, failing to do my intended purpose. What a joy when these two people bumped into me with gentle dialogue. Nothing in particular was discussed, but they put the joy back into my heart just by their presence. It was a God reminder that we need to share our joy, smiles and encouragement with others.
Reach out today. I’m sure you will be waiting somewhere. Don’t fidget. Start planting seeds.
God Bless You!!!