Saturday, August 27, 2016

People Watching

When my wife and I were celebrating our anniversary a few years ago we went to Mackinac Island. There is a particular bed and breakfast we stay at each time we visit - The Bay View B&B. It has a large front porch where my wife and I like to sit, read a book and just watch the world go by.

Do you like to "people watch?" I do. It's interesting seeing all the faces God has made, their different characteristics and expressions. Some are happy, some are sad, some are in a hurry to get some place while others are simply out for a stroll. Faces can tell us a lot about who people want us to think they are.

Here's a picture of the B&B my wife and I like to stay at. See that big porch facing the street? Perfect for people watching.

Most people watchers have a favorite location to watch people. Do you? How about the mall? Work? Church? Or just even down a crowded street.

My wife and I sometime theorize what these people do in life. Even though we have no idea who they are or what they really do, we make up things. I guess that's basically judging them by appearances but isn't that what we humans tend to do anyway?

If someone watched ME walking down the street, I wonder what would they think about me? What tells someone WHO we are? What speaks to them without words? Is it the WAY we walk? A confident strut? A limp? Are we jogging? (Not me) Is it something in the clothes we wear? A tee shirt perhaps? Maybe some baggy pants riding low to show off our boxer shorts? (Again, not me) Or maybe it's a low-cut tight-fitting top that laves little to the imagination. There is one thing however that does not depend on clothing or style to tell others who we are. It is your face - the very image of God - and how you use it to greet others.

Many people avoid eye contact when you meet them on the street. This tells me they are not interested in any interaction at all. At least not at that moment. Some faces are happy, some are sad. Some just glance sideways at you while others offer a warm smile and a "Good morning!" Others hide behind sunglasses of have ears buds in to remove themselves from the possibility of interaction.

As we walk down the street today or through the air-conditioned food court at the mall, try this:

If someone make eye contact with you, ask them a question. Say, "Excuse me. I really like your smile. Where did you get that?" or, to the sagging pants guy, "Hi, I really like your underwear. Are those boxers or jammies?" Yes . . . I can be sarcastic at times.

The point is, people are always judging others by the way we look. They judge us my our facial expressions, our clothes, our demeanor and our actions. What are we telling them? What are we telling them about Jesus?

I have lots of Christian tee shirts. I like to wear them because, when others see them, they think about Jesus. It may only be for a moment but people think about Him.

But we should be more than just a bunch of tee shirts. Jesus tells us, He commands us, to . . . "16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." - Matthew 5:16

Are we letting our light shine? Jesus told us to. And if we are not letting our light shine, we are ignoring a command from God! THAT won't end well for us.

So, let's let our light shine. The world can use all the light it can get.

Go Light Your World - Chris Rice

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