That’s what she said. “God sent you here.” I didn’t know her. We had made eye contact and smiled pleasantly as we passed on the canned vegetables aisle moments earlier. Now I was passing by breakfast cereal headed toward coffee when she smiled broadly, pointed at me, and said, “God sent you here.”
Since “Life Matters” expanded my writing ministry into the newspaper column world, I have the privilege of “talking to” people I might never have otherwise. It is not uncommon, as I travel to the different churches that are part of my primary ministry responsibility, to have people mention that they enjoy my column. I also get that sometimes when I am introduced to folks from around this area. And since my picture, albeit a more svelte and less gray one from 2006, appears alongside, people sometimes recognize my bearded face.
This was my assumption in that moment in front of the coffee. I thought I had not only met a “fan,” but one who went beyond just enjoying what I write. I thought this might be someone who had been really touched by my ministry. Maybe God had used my words in a special way for her in a time of need.
This is what I thought. I was mistaken.
As I drew closer, she spoke again. “I need one of those decaf packages on the top shelf. Could you reach it for me?” She didn’t recognize me or appreciate me for my writing. She just noticed that God made me tall and gave me long arms. Cleanup on the coffee aisle! An ego has just melted and run all over the floor!
Actually, I have had the ministry of grocery store tallness for all of my adult life. I am happy to reach the top shelf for people who can’t do so and have even volunteered my services when I have seen people stretching for something just out of reach. As this dear lady thanked me and walked away she said, “You’ve done your good deed for the day.” I hope not.
I hope I am not satisfied with being tall. I hope there is more potential for good deeds than that. But I do believe she was right when she said, “God sent you here.”
God does have a purpose for my life. As much as I enjoy writing, preaching, coaching, consulting and mentoring, my ministry must include acts of kindness and compassion.
Jesus said, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven (Matthew 5:16, emphasis mine).
The day I don’t have time to do something good for another person is the day I should stop writing. Our lives matter so much to God that He wants us to make the most of every opportunity to serve others.
My life’s mission is to bless, not impress. That’s why He sent me here.
Dr. Gerry Lewis is director of missions for the Harvest Baptist Association, which is headquartered in Decatur. He writes a blog at www.lifematterstoday.blogspot.com.