I know I shouldn’t be amazed but I still am. When God decides to invade our world in a completely unexpected way. It’s all He wants to do. Every day.
Colleen and I were meandering down the street in Stone Harbor after a filling, and I mean filling, breakfast. We saw a four-legged friend we had encountered the day before but without a personal introduction. A gorgeous white lab that captured our heart. Especially my wife’s heart, who I often call Dr. Doolittle. We struck up a conversation with Lee and Andrea without hesitation. After all, dog lovers unite. Before long, out of the corner of my ear, I heard Colleen having an intimate, heart-level conversation about what Love looks like in serving the guests at a Mission where she serves. A lengthy conversation ensued about what life in a homeless shelter would be like and how God’s love is encountered every day. Meanwhile, Lee and I were immersed in a business discussion mixing in sports when warranted. Because that’s what guys do.
All Andrea wanted was to go deeper into the topic at hand, remarking that she had rarely met someone with the aura that Colleen exhibited in her countenance and her concern for her fellow man. She was vulnerable enough to admit the struggle she was having to discover the true meaning of her own life, now in her 50’s. No pretense or pressure though. The conversation continued for another 15 minutes and when we headed off it was obvious that God had shown up big time.
We “compared notes” and headed back to the motel and enjoyed the sunny 64-degree April weather. Sitting on the deck of the outside balcony of a 50s vintage motel, Colleen went back to the room for a snack. Excited as she could be, she came running back to the sundrenched patio and announced, “You’ll never believe what God just showed me”. Of course I’d believe it since this is a fairly regular occurrence for her.
To understand what happened I must first tell you about Colleen and her fascination with the Apostle Peter and his personality. In fact, just this week in a class she teaches at the mission, she was remarking about our ability to truly know God – played out in the redefinition of knowing God and knowing self that is revealed in Peter . . .
God took her to Henry Nouwen’s book “In the Name of Jesus”. An amazing man and devout Catholic. As a born-again believer in Jesus Christ Henry has written countless books on deep spiritual issues in a way that captivates the soul. God took her to a specific chapter where Jesus encountered Peter (after his denial) asking him, “Do you love me?” Three times. Then announces, after Peter affirmed his love, “then feed my sheep”. That’s exactly what we’ve been called to do, feed MY sheep. But to do so with crazy love and without judgment or imposition. Just reflecting Jesus Christ to others.
We did that today.
That shouldn’t be an unusual occurrence. He’s called every believer to live our love out loud. Every day and in every way He sees fit. No pressure. To be exactly who He created each of us to BE. Depending on our gifts, God calls us to show that love in a plethora of ways. We have only the responsibility to respond to the Holy Spirits call at the moment. The true blessing comes from living out of our true self. The one that God uniquely created in each of us.