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Representing Christ Well With Our lives

We just returned from a trip of a lifetime to see our son and his wife in Sweden.  A place I never really thought about going to. It was not something on my bucket list or a place you would normally go on a mission trip to.  It was a sweet time with our kids and the beauty there is like nothing I have ever seen.  Every sunset is magical, they just happen at two in the afternoon instead of five.  It's not normal for us to travel outside of Village to Village or to travel with my husband. His idea of a trip away is to another state, not another country.  My husband has always had a kind heart so anytime he could speak into someone's life he did.  Even when he was uncomfortable himself.  Some of the things we have tried to teach our children are kindness, to love everyone, not be judgmental, and to represent Christ well.  For us, there is no other option than to be God's hands and feet in every situation at every moment.   Think about your day to day life.  Does a kind word get you through a hard day?  Can a hug bring you to tears because you felt like no one cared?  Does a word of appreciation make you want to work harder?  Will a cup of coffee and a few minutes cause you to realize life is good?   We had and still have pets that become part of our family. Our daughter and her husband tend to visit their local shelter a lot to just spend time with the animals. They have adopted three themselves. Going to shelters is heartbreaking as there are so many animals needing forever homes.  For the one animal that you adopt you have changed their life forever.  For the others that you visit, just having someone pet them, hold them or walk them brings such joy to their lives.  It's no different with people that we see every day, in every place we go to.  They simply want kindness, appreciation, and love.  I read a story this morning from the book 'He Walks Among Us' by Richard & Renee Stearns.  They share a story about an earthquake that took twenty thousand lives in India and destroyed some three million homes.  They were involved in a ceremony where the community celebrated their team that was rebuilding homes.   During the ceremony, a group of village elders were discussing why Christians came from ten thousand miles away to help them when they had not received much help from their own government or religious leaders.  They were wondering what had motivated complete strangers to help them.  It would be clear to them in the minutes that followed that the motivation was the love of Christ.   The most powerful witness for the gospel is often the testimony of our lives.  How we live out our faith each day in front of other people.   I want people to question why I do what I do.  I want them to wonder why my life is so different.   When we are away from our home, away from where everyone knows us like Guatemala or Sweden, do we still represent Christ well or do we choose to be like everyone else?  I pray your life will cause people to questions what drives you to be so kind, loving, honest, and full of integrity.  You may not be able to change the world but you can change the world of the person in front of you, the person others may dismiss.   In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.  Matthew 5:16

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