I recently found myself thinking about our fore-parents, Adam and Eve, and how we are an extension of that union no matter what region of the globe we come from. It is that wonderful union that makes us family. I also found myself thinking how often people pay too much attention to where another person comes from and not enough simply loving and reaching out to another human being.
On my way to run an errand, I was drawn to a shop in the El Barrio because the displays were very inviting. As I walked around admiring the merchandise, I noticed an employee of the store walking behind me while other patrons seemed to go unnoticed. I thought to myself, “Is he following me?” He then stopped and stood at a distance. I thought of asking why he was following me, but chose to remain silent. As I selected a few items to purchase and came to checkout he said: “You’re an honest woman” and we got to talking about Puerto Rico. I told him about my paternal great- great- grandfather who was born in Puerto Rico, like him. He briefly shared Puerto Rico’s history and said he was “also boriken” (a term Puerto Ricans call the island of Puerto Rico and commonly used to identify someone of Puerto Rican heritage). After paying for my items, he began pouring out his heart to me and sobbed, sharing how he “lost everything.” I encouraged and prayed for him. In the process, praise God, he accepted Jesus Christ into his heart and life. After chatting, he handed back the money that I’d given him to pay for my items. I threw my arms around him, gave him a big hug and said, “God loves you, be encouraged, I’ll stop by again; Keep the faith.” As I was leaving, I thought about how this had started out as an uncomfortable and uncertain situation, but turned out to be a blessing instead. Things are not always what they appear to be at first glance. I left feeling very joyful and thankful to God for all that He had done.
Just a few days later another unexpected situation to share my faith presented itself. I had let an exterminator into my home for service, and after chatting and learning of the nose bleed he had had earlier, I asked if I could pray with him. Afterwards, he said, “I feel good! What did you do?” In response, I praised God, asked him if he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, and shared a pamphlet my church prepared entitled “Four Steps To A New Life.” We discussed accepting God’s love and inviting Jesus into his heart. I used relatable stories and answered the questions he had. He eagerly recited a suggested prayer. After congratulating and encouraging him to get baptized, I invited him to church. He described his previous relationship with God as “loving and dating a girl but not having enough time to spend with her.” I encouraged him to take his new faith one day at a time.
We are encouraged here at Regent to make positive connections with those around us. Throughout my daily walk, I am often reminded of a statement my former professor, Dr. William Cox shared with the class. During one of the sessions, as we talked about following the Great Commission, I remember him saying, “the Greek says…as you go…as you’re about the business of living do the great commission,” adding “As you’re living your life then keep the great commission in the forefront of what you’re doing.” I learned from taking a number of Dr. Cox’s classes about the importance of making a difference by influencing others in our sphere of influence. Not everyone is called to witness in mission fields. As believers, we are called to seize the daily opportunities to witness, share our faith, love and spread the Word of God with those around us. With this in mind, I ask you my dear readers and partners in this wonderful Christian experience: Is there a special life that you can touch? An impact that you can make on the earth to advance God’s Kingdom? Have faith, trust God and forge ahead with great victory.