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Here we are beginning another year, and a good question to be asking ourselves is: How to be of actual use for the Lord?
Christian apologist C.S. Lewis wrote:
“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously – no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.”
― C.S. Lewis
It's interesting how often clients show mild surprise that we are "nice" to them. Typically, they have distractions galore: the ever-present phone screen, maybe homelessness, financial woes, and/or drug addictions tugging at their attention, unhealthy relationships and so on. When we try to minister to them as Christ has ministered to us - even if we aren't what would be counted as successful - we are being of use to the Kingdom. The seriousness that Lewis refers to reminds us that we're ministering to souls that the Lord sees as precious treasures; maybe especially the most unlovely of them. When we see a glimmer of hope in them, it gives us joy and reason to keep going. When a young mom chooses to cherish her baby, we celebrate. They may still be looking at their lives as just a series of events, but we are trying to maintain the view of small but critical moments in eternity.
This year, as we try to improve on the last, may we all focus more on looking beneath the surface to find the treasures in each other and the "strangers" we meet. The adversary would like us to make snap judgments based on appearances. How much different would our year look in hindsight if we spent the time allotted in building up, encouraging and helping the ones who still need to find Him?
Remember to suggest Aspire Together when it might be helpful to someone you see struggling with their pregnancy, relationships or just holding a family together in this wicked world. We can help with the immediate needs, while pointing to someone who can help them with their eternal needs!