Due to the recent “Inside Out” series at The Voice, God has been speaking to me a lot about the thoughts, fears, ideas, and even sicknesses that go on within each and every single human being that reside on this little place we call “planet Earth”.
Day after day, we interact with countless people. Days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months, months collect to form years, and before we know it, we’ve crossed paths with so many people that we can no longer keep track. It’s easy for these people to turn into a sea of faces: forgotten and insignificant.
According to statistics, “it’s estimated we interact with about 80,000 people in a lifetime.” (Funders & Founders)
The reality is, that gives us:
80,000 opportunities for us to share the Gospel of Jesus;
80,000 people’s lives you could potentially introduce hope to.
80,000 reasons to not give up when you feel like it’s not worth it.
God has been convicting me lately about NOT being intentional about the people I meet from day-to-day. This conviction dawned on me as I reflected on the loss of my own father who passed away in August 2015 of stage-4 brain cancer.
The other day, I looked at a picture of my dad and I that was taken just a few months prior to his death. We were smiling and enjoying a daddy-daughter date, oblivious to the fact that he had brain cancer and that it was presently killing him. As I looked at the photo, I asked myself: “How could I have been so oblivious to what was developing on the INSIDE?”
Then it hit me: every single person deals with something on the INSIDE. In addition to sicknesses that could potentially physically kill them, there are negative thoughts, feelings, regrets, and fears going on within the minds and hearts of these individuals; and as Christians, we have the opportunity to address these problems, call them out, and speak life.
I mean, THINK ABOUT IT:
How many people do you interact with on a daily basis?
Your daily routine may consist of any of the following events:
- getting up in the morning and greeting your roommates or family;
- passing a couple neighbors and pedestrians as you dash out the door and head off to work or school
- interacting with various classmates or co-workers
- stopping at a coffee shop, filled with other people who are also “going about their daily routine”
- hanging out with some friends
- going to Church, in which you’re surrounded by a community of people
And yet, with all of those possible interactions, we all probably recognize this all-too-familiar conversation:
Robotically asking, “How are you?”
Receiving the expected, “I’m good, and you?”
Simply replying, “I’m good. Thanks for asking.”
Parting separate ways, never having any REAL social interaction.
It’s routine, it’s fake, and it leaves no margin for people to really know what’s happening on the INSIDE.
These people we pass, they could be:
- contemplating suicide, and in need of hope
- having a really bad day, and craving encouragement
- living a reckless lifestyle, and require accountability
- feeling lonely, and desiring friendship
- celebrating a situation, and wanting someone to rejoice with them
Whatever their circumstance and whatever their struggle, we have the capacity and opportunity to bring what’s on the INSIDE out.