I am a big fan of the essay series, THIS I BELIEVE. I keep saying I am going to submit an essay, but am not sure which “truth” about my life and belief system is the core foundational belief that supersedes every other belief. I believe in the theory of reciprocity. I believe I am “the” Favorite. I believe in the power of music – and food – and coffee. I believe the life is too short to keep people in your life who make you cry. And as Kevin Costner famously said in his movie, BULL DURHAM, “and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.” (yeah, it’s been a while since that has been a reality in my life, but I still believe in them.) I do NOT believe in “fate”, “luck” or “coincidences.” Instead, increasingly, I believe in “divine appointments.” I believe that God puts people in our path for specific divine interactions and purposes if we will just open ourselves up to the possibilities.
For most of my life, I have never felt “comfortable” witnessing to others about my relationship with God. I have never been a person who could just pass out a track or start up a conversation with random strangers about my relationship with God and what it means to me. I tend to be more of a “let my life show my relationship” type of witnesser. That doesn’t mean that I won’t talk about God with my friends, but the random stranger – yeah, not so much. Even with this blog, I feel like I am talking to my friends who already know me (and my craziness), so it is easy to talk about it. And even though increasingly more and more “strangers” are reading my thoughts and opinions, I guess I feel like I am a step removed from the witness. But because God has a sense of humor when it comes to dealing with His Favorite Child (that would be me), He has begun placing me in situations where I am compelled to speak up and out about Him.
This past Monday, I had a meeting at the bank to refinance my home. Before meeting with the attorney who would be handling the closing, I had a brief conversation with the mortgage broker, Mr. Carter, who’d been holding my hand through the process for the last month. During the course of our interactions, Mr. Carter had become aware of the release of my book and in fact, has a copy of the book in his possession. He asked how book sales were going and chastised me for not “shamelessly promoting [yourself] and the book every chance [you] get.” With that condemnation ringing in my ears, I walked into the refinance room and spent a good 45 minutes with the closing attorney, Mr. Jones. At the end of signing my life away (again) so that Mom and I could continue to have a roof over our heads (but at a lower interest rate and therefore, lower monthly payment – woo hoo!), I casually mentioned that I’d just published a book, and handed over a marketing card. When Mr. Jones asked what the book was about, I told him that it was about my relationship with Christ and how He shows up in my life in very simple, everyday, ordinary ways, but how that in itself is extra-ordinary to me.
All of a sudden, this ruddy Irish man turned even redder in complexion and his eyes filled with tears. Very quietly he said to me, “You don’t know how much I needed to hear that. Everyone has trials in their life and I am going through a very rough time in my life right now and today has been especially hard for me. I truly appreciate what you just said to me.” I was stunned! For 45 minutes, this man had laughed and joked with me and made what could have been a tedious process “enjoyable.” I would have never guessed he was “going through” anything. And if I had stayed true to form, I would have never opened up to him about me, my book or my relationship with Christ.
But God had a different plan – for me and for Mr. Jones and even for Mr. Carter, who feed into me that I needed to “shamelessly promote” myself – which led to the conversation that Mr. Jones and I were supposed to have. I am glad that I listened to the prompting and stepped outside my normal comfort zone in order to be a blessing.
And just as I was placed in the Wells Fargo bank on Monday, recently, two of my co-workers were placed in my path to bless me when I needed it. Without going into detail, a great big “thank you” to Marques Richards and Tamara Cotton for feeding into my soul when I needed the blessings they gave to me. Even when you are “the Favorite”, you need human encouragement and consolation and when I needed it, these two people gave it to me and I am forever grateful.
As you move through your day, I encourage you to keep your eyes open for the “divine appointments” God has set up for you. You will be blessed, as will the people with whom you interact.
©2012 Kristina E. Smith