02 May, 2004

Have you ever thought about the footprints you leave? Your actions, words and demeanor can impact someone without your even knowing it. In your work place, your homes, anywhere where you have contact with other people you are an example of Christ. Wow! There is a scary and uncomfortable thought. Even on your bad days, when you don’t want to be a work and wish the whole world would just disappear, you are still an example of God….. What does that mean? Some would suggest that because we are salt and light to the world that we always have to be happy and not show that we are hurting or not having the best of days. Why? We, as Christians, as people, have emotions like everyone else, yet over the years we have been told to suppress those feelings and just “be happy.”
God never told us to hide our emotions, read Psalms, or Job, or Mark 14 where it talks about Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. In the garden Jesus told his disciples to sit and pray because his soul was, “overwhelmed and with sorrow to the point of death (Mark 14:34).” I don’t know about you but that’s some pretty heavy emotion. In Job when his three friends come to see him the scripture tells us they did not recognize him and began to weep aloud, then they tore their clothes and sat in silence for seven days because that’s how great their suffering was (Job 2:12-13).

So what does suffering have to do with footprints? Everything. On a recent trip to Ecuador we went to a town plagued with spiritual warfare. We were beaten, tired and worn down to the point of annoyance and bickering (and for a team that got along great, that meant something), yet we still managed to display Christ to the church and the people in the town. How? Through our love for each other and our respect for the people around us. Did we go in each day with a smile and pretend we weren’t frustrated and tired? No. If you had asked any of us we would have said that we behaved really poorly and didn’t display Christ at all. But we did somehow, because He was the center and when we got distracted we pulled our attention back to Him.

I can think of a lot of people who have affected me through their lives. Most don’t even know it. It was through their strength in weakness, their ability to do truly unselfish things, or the ability to make people smile during incredibly hard times that have impacted my heart. Do these people know they were Christ in human form to me? NO. Was that their intention? NO. See, it comes when you least expect it, when you think people aren’t watching, and most times we don’t know that we did it.

Here is my challenge to you. Take five minutes this week, sit down and write someone a note telling him or her how he or she has displayed Christ to you. It can be something simple like “Remember that time you brought me Cold Stone after I had my wisdom teeth taken out, that was really cool.” Or something more, tell them how they calmed your aching heart or how you admire their courage. Because in this day when hiding our emotions is so key, maybe we should start being transparent, taking a risk, and letting someone know how much they really mean to us.
© Amanda Lunday