Saint Francis of Assisi is famously quoted as saying, “Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.” There is often a debate about whether he actually said it and does the statement even merit truth. The point is to be Jesus in action and attitude. Our lives speak. But no doubt, we need to speak of the goodness, truth, grace, redemptive power of God, too.
Let me focus on the intent of this quote for my point here. I was recently at an out-of-town Panera on a Monday morning, getting ahead of my week, reading, and doing some communicating about a coming retreat we had with The Gathering of the Miami Valley. I heard a woman, “Samantha,” at a nearby table on numerous phone calls dealing with medical facilities and her insurance company.
I was amazed at how gracious she was at all times. When she was misunderstood, or things were going off track and calls were going – what I would deem – too long, she remained peaceful. She never communicated anything other than elegant grace and peace. I finally walked over to her and shared how her demeanor, words, and attitude were greatly ministering to my soul a short distance away. She could have been highly frustrated, visibly shaken, potty-mouthed and more. She wasn’t even close to that.
She allowed me to pray for her and she knew Jesus, as I guessed she did. Nothing more, nothing complex.
I walked back to what I was doing and she left a few minutes later. She was a “Person of Peace,” as my friend likes to call mature men and women of God, who walk under Holy Spirit influence. Know that “Samantha” was the hands, feet, mouth, and ears of Jesus to me that morning. I stopped and reflected on that a multitude of times. I thought of the time I was with a son and we ran into a problem at a department store and while trying to be gracious, I still was likely more devilish. We get to be Jesus to others every day. Do you wear Him well? When I prayed for “Samantha” I referenced people wanting to know what she has and what was different.
Are you giving those in the sphere of your days and weeks the aroma of Christ (II Corinthians 2:15-16)?
Does His love compel you when you speak Jesus silently or out loud (II Corinthians 5:14)?
Both are important today. Both are needed. Let’s agree to that!