But what would this blog express? Since it's a 30-day challenge with, "One Meaningful Thing I Did Today" - isn't it about ME? O Lord.... I want to learn to deny myself, put the Lord first, and allow Him to saturate me and permeate me to such an extent that my expression is actually His expression, my experience daily is experiencing Christ in my human life, and even my words would be words that convey Christ and not myself... I hope and pray that the reading of these articles would encourage everyone not to "wonder who this guy is" or "how bad a person he is", etc - but to cause you to love the Lord more and seek Him more! Which brings me to the topic today,
£2 for your smile, or simple ways to shepherd one another - One Meaningful Thing I Did Today
|Nope, it's not me in the picture :)|
This warmed up my heart. I don't know how your day was, but sometimes things pile up on you, don't go the way you think they should go, you have to deal with an increasingly amount of stress or customer care, orders, etc... - no complaining, just that daily there's a thing called, "the wearing out tactics of the enemy"... And out of all the people in the world, this particular hairdresser, in his 40s, managed to make me smile :) I sat on the chair, found out he is from Kosovo (and I'm from Romania), he came here a very long time ago, etc. We had a nice conversation, he gave me a nice haircut, and since I had only £6 with me - and the fee was £8 - he said, Whenever you come by, just bring me the change, when you have time. This is where the "£2 for your smile" comes from :)
I was walking home and thanking the Lord for shepherding me in such a way, and I realized the second part of the title, "simple ways to shepherd one another". We think that in order to "shepherd the saints" or to "take care of others" we need to be trained, qualified, mature, etc. But all it takes is to be open to the Lord and cooperate with Him to meet others' needs even in a human way. Someone is hungry or thirsty, and you get him a drink / something to eat. You sense someone's need and then, in prayer before the Lord, you cooperate with the Lord to meet that need. And it's these little things, the small things, that not only "bring a smile on your face", but they also encourage you to go on with the Lord and in your Christian life.
A simple text message or an email to one of your contacts can encourage him / her. Just saying HI to someone who doesn't usually talk to you after the meeting, or "meeting someone half-way" by taking the first step to talk to someone after the meeting / after class - shepherds others! Take a young brother the Lord put on your heart out for dessert or visit someone at home with your companion - you "waste your time" on the saints to spend time with them, and you can gain the Lord! I was so surprised to find out how much my heart was warmed up after this person, by all outward means an unbeliever(but a loving father to his kids), shepherded me in this way.
This is something that the Lord Jesus does towards us - He meets us where we are, and He surprises us with these little gestures, these little things, through which He just shows us how much He loves us! Sometimes He may expose us and allow us to make a mistake, but when we return to Him He is so loving and forgiving! He who is forgiven much loves much - so we just love the Lord! At other times the Lord, through people or the environment or even the weather, just shepherds us and brings us on with Him. THIS ONE IS IN US, and as we are around people and around saints, we can also be in this way!
I am NOT good at this. I may be inclined towards, "Let's do this!", or, "help me do that", but what if I would really listen to someone and find out his real need + bring this to the Lord? The Lord is the most attentive One, being intimately and kindly interested in us and our needs. He in us can do it towards the young ones, towards our workmates, towards our fellow students, and towards our family members! Even giving a little attention to the smallest members of our families will make them happy. In the church life we need to minister Christ to one another - and we do this by learning to shepherd one another and care for one another to make others' heart happy in the Lord first...
Lord, we want to learn to care for others in simple ways and simple things - to warm up their heart and give them something of Christ in the Word for You to grow in them and have Your way! We don't know how, we may not be too available in our being for this, or we may not even be willing - but Lord, we give ourselves to You to be shepherded by You and for You to shepherd others through us!