Overcome Fear. Inspire Hope. Empower Potential.

I continue to be in awe of how God weaves seemingly small, ordinary moments into extraordinary stories.

On Sunday, we attended Take Hold Church in Edinburgh, Scotland. Service is held at 5pm on Sundays in the lower level of St. Stephen’s Church where there is a more contemporary sanctuary with chairs and a stage. Prior to service, we were blessed with the opportunity to connect with the church leaders and churchgoers while enjoying fresh baked treats, tea, and coffee.

Pastor Paul’s message was about thin places; spaces where we are so close to the presence of God, it seems He is standing within arm’s reach. We experience thin places when we choose to draw deeper into relationship with God and allow ourselves to be led by His Holy Spirit. Through the leading of the Holy Spirit, we are transformed to become more like Jesus. The more we become like Jesus, the more we live like Him and the thinner the space becomes between us and Heaven. In Mark 12:30-31 ESV, Jesus teaches us the foundational principle for living a Kingdom life:

30And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. 31The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

The team at Take Hold Church demonstrated love for their neighbors by extending an invitation for churchgoers to gather at the Neighborgood Market after service and blessed those who accepted the invitation by paying our admission fee. (The Neighborgood Market is an outdoor gathering place where you can purchase hot food and drinks from market traders and use the provided picnic tables to enjoy live music and chat with friends.)

We walked as a group from St. Stephen’s Church to the market, talking along the way. As we waited in the queue to enter the market, I connected with a lovely lady, Laura, and we engaged in small talk. We separated briefly to explore the food options and, while I was waiting for my meal to be prepared, I reconnected with Laura. We talked about the variety of street food available and I asked her what she was going to choose for dinner. She shared that, while the food looked delicious, dinner wasn’t in her budget. Reflecting on what Jesus had taught me in Matthew 25:35-40:

35For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

I smiled and asked if I could buy her dinner. I watched as her facial expression changed first to shock over my generosity and then to slight embarrassment. She shared that she was flattered by my offer yet also embarrassed to accept the blessing. She explained that she was good at giving to others but not as good at receiving blessings for herself.

I persisted, asking again to bless her with a meal as it would give me great joy. Her gaze softened as she considered my offer and politely asked if I had enough funds. I smiled and said, “My Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills, I have more than enough because everything I have is from Him.” She smiled shyly and I continued, “Technically, I’m not buying you dinner, God is. I’m just the vessel He’s working through.”

I think we overlook the profound impact that seemingly small and insignificant actions can have on a person. A smile in someone’s direction, holding a door for the person behind us, offering to give someone a hug, or buying someone a meal, can bring light to the darkness and hope to the hopeless, completely shifting the trajectory of a person’s day and, quite possibly, their life.

Thank you, Father, for giving me the opportunity to shine Your light and love into the life of another. Thank you for giving me the resources to bless Your daughter with a delicious meal and the time to enjoy her presence. Father, I ask that You open our eyes to see, our ears to hear, and our hearts to respond to ordinary opportunities that will become extraordinary stories of Your love. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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