Recently, while walking through the Atlanta airport, I, along with the hundreds of other people walking down Concourse B, couldn’t help but notice the woman walking in high heels, wearing yoga pants and a neon bra.
Yes, I was a “creeper,” as my kids would call me, but there were hundreds more who turned to “creep” as the woman went confidently about her business. She sat down right near our gate and I couldn’t help but notice the attention she attracted. Everyone who passed by noticed her. :o)
As I sat there, I watched different people walk by–white, black, Hispanic, Indian. People in shorts and t-shirts, dresses and suits. Some were dirty and disheveled while others were spotless and well-groomed. It was a real picture of the world–a melting pot. I couldn’t help but think about the woman who drew ALL the attention away from all those different people. God took me to some deep thoughts, as He usually does. Simply stated….Do I stand out to a stranger as a follower of Christ? Do strangers “creep” on me because I am different? Not because of the way I dress, but because of the way I act?
I carried that thought with me on the airplane and all throughout the day as I traveled….to the next airport…to the car rental place….to the restaurant.
Basically I did a test over the two days following the airport adventure. I wanted to observe all the strangers I came in contact with while I was in different stores at the mall, the grocery store, several restaurants, and a gas station. My test was to see if I could identify anyone as a Christ follower by the way they interacted with me, especially through their actions. I came up with one lady who checked us out at the grocery store. She was kind…interested in us…asked where we were from…asked about our 4th of July…and was uniquely different from every other stranger I interacted with over the two days.
For several days in my quiet time now…I have asked myself…did anyone of those strangers deem me to be “uniquely different?”
I am really not sure…….? At times, maybe. But looking back has made me challenge myself in the days ahead. It would be a great idea for me to focus on my actions toward others, especially strangers. I don’t want to just TRY to be different but actually BE different. To also recognize that every person I come in contact with is a divine appointment from God…to BE LIGHT!
Paul gives a great description of taking advantage of every opportunity to reach out to others in I Corinthians 9:19-23. “For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.”
What if all Christ followers adopted the scripture found in Matthew 25:40? “Truly I say to you as you did to one of the least of my brethren, you did it to me.” How different would our world be?
If you want to be a world changer and difference maker…start with the simple mindset as a Christ follower: how I treat strangers can be a world changer. I can be like Jesus to those who may not otherwise see Jesus in their world.