These words from Warren Wiersbe resonate with me deeply today. So often, I find myself on the lookout for the next big thing that the Lord may be calling me to do, when in fact it’s being faithful in the everydayness of life that often gives Him the greatest glory. Allow me to share an example:
I went to the library on Monday to read, as the location has a comfortable quiet study room that I like using. I had been there about ten minutes when a tall, thin man burst into the room and started causing a lot of commotion. This caught my eye for two main reasons:
1) We were at a library; and
2) We were in the quiet study room. 🤔
However, such concerns were not a priority for the man. It’s not that he said anything, as much as he kept standing up, moving around, plugging in his laptop and a whole treasure trove of other technobaubles into the few power outlets in the room, and generally seeming unaware of the personal space of others.
I kept reading, but watched the man out of the corner of my eye.
Naturally, he decided to sit in the chair right next to me, and the commotion continued. He started setting up what soon appeared to be a study area, and put out something that had the appearance of a Bible, but I could not be sure. I glanced quickly over in his direction, and surmised that he may have been mormon, but that was a passing thought in my mind. Eventually, he settled down and began his studies.
A moment or two later, he sneezed. Here is the conversation that followed that otherwise unremarkable event:
- Me: (after he sneezed) God bless you!
- Man: (pausing briefly, before exclaiming) God has blessed me!
- Me: Amen. God has blessed me, too!
The man seemed to savor our brief chat before he resumed his studies. Shortly thereafter, I headed home.
So, naturally, I went back to the library the next day. I am a creature of habit, so of course I returned to the same study room, but later in the day. Much to my surprise, the Blustery Man rushed into the room again, looked around fretfully, and then made a bee-line for me.
There were no social graces — no hello, how are you? I’m fine, thanks — no, that would have been too ordinary. So I looked up from my book to see what was the matter.
Apparently, after our “God bless you” chat from Monday, we were now formally acquainted, such that no other conversation was needed, apparently. He looked at me because I was sitting in his chair (my usual seat was being used by someone else) and he was looking for an item he had left behind earlier in the day.
Have you seen a square FedEx envelope?
Say what? Puzzled, I replied, no, I have not seen it.
He was not fully convinced of this until I vacated the chair and he could see for himself that the envelope had not slipped between the cushions. So, what did I do? Well, I helped him look for it, even though he was talking at full volume in the middle of the quiet study room. Clearly, the missing FedEx envelope trumped the library rules about how the space was to be used.
What struck me most about the whole encounter was the man’s sense of familiarity with me — and all predicated on one brief, “God bless you” comment.
He didn’t find his envelope in the room, but as he left, I offered up a silent prayer on his behalf: Lord, help this man to find his missing envelope.
And perhaps that was all the ministry the Lord called me to do that day — simply being present to this man in what otherwise was a fairly unremarkable day and conversation.
Yes, Warren Wiersbe is right: “Simply being there is a ministry.” To that end, I am looking forward to seeing the Blustery Man at the library today, too, if the Lord says the same. 🧡