the following is from my good friend, Chris Kimmell - enjoy...
I spent this afternoon wandering a bookstore. It wasn’t a small bookstore; it was one of those monster bookstore malls with multiple levels, and a media department. It is easy to spend several hours walking such a place. Going from one section to the other; spying a title that catches my eye, and reading the jackets. While wandering, I often watch people and try to imagine what is on their mind.
I stopped in the “pets” section as I am lover of those furry domesticated animals that many people decide to cohabitate with. I happened to be standing in front of the dog books when an elderly gentleman walked up and stood beside me. He appeared to be in his mid to late seventies, with a slight pudgy build. He grabbed a book on dog breeds so I asked him what kind of dog he had or did he want to get one. The man turned toward me and I watched the smile envelope his face as the joy filled up inside him. He began to explain to me how he had three dogs and one had just showed up several months ago. He wasn’t sure what type of dog it was but he was proud of his dogs. He told me stories of his dogs and how he was slowly taming the apparently feral dog that had showed up on his three acres of woods. The smile never left his face while he talked to me. I say as he talked to me because I never said another thing for quite some time until he asked me about my dogs. I responded that I had a bloodhound and he was off again speaking of his encounter with a bloodhound many years before. I was experiencing great joy watching this man’s joy grow. He had someone to talk to who was listening to him. He had been lonely and for nearly an hour he had someone who was listening to him that cared.
We parted ways and I ventured into the “children’s” section and looked at picture books. I noticed another elderly person, this time a woman. She was sitting at a small children’s table with her knees tucked up under her chin. A little girl ran up to her and gave the woman a book. The woman opened the book and read a few pages to the girl and then the girl took the book and ran away just as quickly as she came. I loved the sharing of smiles and laughter they shared with each other. I went on browsing when I heard more footsteps running to the woman. This time a boy and he handed her a book and again the same exchange of reading and laughter ensued. The boy left and a few minutes later a third, and then a fourth child all greeted her with a book, a few pages read, and then giggles and laughter. I asked the woman “Are those your grandchildren?” “Oh, goodness no.” she replied. “My two grandkids are over there in the “teen” section.”
What amazing ministry I experienced in just living life. I did not need to inform these people of Jesus. They already knew Him. I could see that in their eyes and in the love they expressed. Jesus used me to show the man that someone really did care about him. That someone was actually willing to carve out a portion of their day, just for him to tell whatever dog story he cared to tell. Jesus showed him that even a total stranger is not always a “total stranger”.
Jesus then ministered to me through another. Jesus let me see that He was there in the woman who would share love and laughter with kids she never knew. Jesus allowed me to share in their joy as they shared with each other.
Often sharing Jesus means His name doesn’t even have to be uttered. We sometimes forget that we can share Jesus in a smile or just word to the cashier that is trying to recognize every customer as they enter and leave. Every time, sharing Jesus is in just living life.