A friend of mine recently described specific people who had changed her life. They had changed her just by being themselves, by loving her in their particular ways of loving. They did not change her life by imposing any kind of plan on her or by trying hard to influence what she did—no, the change happened in the midst of daily tasks and conversations.
In a sense, that friend was meeting God in those conversations and in the hours spent laboring over projects. When we allow others’ love to affect us, we’re surrendering to a much bigger love. When people love one another, however imperfectly, God is right in the middle of that.
- I remember the grandmother who laughed a lot and who was so patient with me as I made mistakes and learned new skills.
- I remember the pastor who would make himself available whenever I, a teenager, imagined myself to be in spiritual crisis. His calm manner and optimism about God working in my life steadied me and my faith.
- I remember the piano teachers who kept showing up, the elderly next-door neighbors who consistently acted delighted to see any of us children in their yards or at their doors.
- I remember people in church, at school, and on the job who have made my life a friendly sojourn.
- I think of people now—whether my husband of nearly two decades or friends of just a few years—whose kindness has made lovely prints upon my life.
If you feel that God isn’t showing up much these days, remember the people who have showed up often and sometimes quietly, to enter your conversations, lend their help, and connect with you in real and helpful ways. See, God never left.