Published by Theresee on Fri, 11/11/2011 - 1:09pm
By: Pat Gangi
“Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?” The King will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”
Small talk is not my comfort zone. While I don’t have too much trouble speaking to large groups, I’m far less comfortable with the one-to-one, especially when meeting new people.
Last year I attended a healing seminar at my church community center. A number of WCIC sisters were expected to be there as well as quite a few friends from my church. When I arrived, I put my belongings down at a table and went to get coffee. When I returned, I found two ladies sitting there whom I did not know. Just as I was working up the resolve to introduce myself, a friend walked up and invited me to sit with her and some other friends at another table.
I was torn. While I would clearly be more comfortable with my friends, these women were first-time visitors to the center and didn’t seem to know anyone else. By God’s grace, I decided to stay put to make them feel welcome and introduced myself. They were wonderful ladies!
The outcome? A short time later, a CIC sister walked in and took the last seat at our table and the four of us spent the rest of the day learning, talking and praying together. The Lord used these ladies’ prayers to heal me physically (set me free from 14 months of pins and needles in a surgically repaired foot) as well as “relationally”. He showed me the fruit of being willing to welcome strangers.
TAKE THE CHALLENGE: Have I become too stuck in my comfort zone? Is God asking me to stretch myself by reaching out to new people?