Have you ever been refreshed by the kindness of a stranger?
Today I was. A friend introduced me to a local pastor and long-time friend of his. The intention was to bring together two people who he believed were like-minded for the purpose of potential networking. This mutual friend has an established and credible ministry of caring for people. He is a true pastor, with an eye for calling forth the heart of God in people.
Within five minutes of meeting him, I realized the goodness of God’s giftings in others. Not only was the brother an articulate communicator, his eyes radiated compassion, value, and a search for truth. He had no agenda; he came for no other purpose than to bless.
As I drove away, I wished I had found out more about him. He had such a skill for asking questions that I spent the whole time answering them…and hence, talking about myself. I realized in this reflection that this man must spend an incredible amount of time with the Lord Jesus, for he mirrored His concern for people and His laser focus for drawing forth the light of God’s image from others. His questions made me see myself afresh through the eyes of grace.
I learned something new today about pastoring: Pastoring others is not just about imparting new knowledge to them, but rather walking with them as they discover themselves afresh under the gaze of God. I know this intellectually. Yet, today was such a reminder of how rarely we practice this in our relationships. Having been blessed so, I am carrying an excitement to go and do likewise.
Tomorrow I will put into practice this lesson with those with whom I spend time. First, I’ll spend time with Jesus. Then I’ll let Him spend time with others through me. In the process, I will pray that we’ll all discover more of the image of God in one another.
How about you? Are your appointments with people just something to be endured until they are over or are you searching for the image of God in another and walking patiently with them until you both discover Him?
“He restores my soul. He guides me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”