Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.
As I began a conversation with a dude I've never met before, we reached across the table to shake hands. It is the kind thing to do in our culture. (You know, use your right hand. Look each other in the eye. Make it a firm but not too firm handshake.) Our conversation continued as he ate a meal we were providing.
I was intrigued by his questions and by his story. We talked only for about 5 minutes, but there seems to be some kind of connection that I pray will go further.
He seems to be about 50 years old and has been down some pretty rough roads. We are at a job fair for people that are on probation or parole in our community. He shared with me about his experience of being in jail, about being homeless, about trying to find a job in our community where there are almost no jobs to be had and he talked about going to school to be a welder. This man has hope.
Our church meets people like this dude all the time. But one thing different is that this man had hope. You could tell in his level of confidence and the way he held himself. The conversation concluded a bit later after we talked about our love for God and being grateful for Jesus begin our savior.
Several minutes later I watched him leave the job fair with his motorcycle helmet strapped to his head, ponytail waving behind and the roar of the bike's engine grinding away. I was thankful for our conversation.
It is not always easy to reach across the table, but this is something that I am passionate about. It something that I love to do and believe that myself and our church is called to do.
We are called to offer people 2nd chances. We are called to talk about the hope that only Jesus gives. We are called to be the grace of God, living and breathing grace of God, to hurting people we come in contact with. It may come with serving a meal. It may come in the line at the grocery store. There are hundreds of places where you can reach across the table to shake someone's hand and begin a conversation that might change a person's life. It might just change yours.
Reach across the table today. Look for opportunities to be the grace of God and to share hope with someone in need.
Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.