Facebook is a pretty interesting website to visit. For the uninitiated, Facebook is a site on the internet where you can connect with: other people you know; groups you’re involved in; others who share common interests; businesses, and the like. Every time anyone or any business you say you “like” posts something on their Facebook page, you get to see it on your Facebook “wall.” It provides a constant update on and insight into what’s happening in the lives of others you know and love and issues and groups you’re concerned about.
As a result of Facebook, there are lots of great conversations between family and friends. Because of Facebook, you can search for family and friends you’ve lost track of. Messages are sent through Facebook. Pictures are shared, recipes, “how tos,” jokes are all posted. If you’d like, you can take quizzes that are supposed to reveal information about your inner self, like “Can we guess your age based on your taste in music?” (I took the test and they guessed I was 35! I love that test!)
You can find out about other churches, businesses, organizations. Some of the things you’ll find on Facebook will make you smile. Some of it might make your blood boil. Some people are kind when they post on Facebook, others might be rude or bully others. It’s quite the mixed bag of postings.
But of all the things that appear on Facebook, some of my favorite postings are the videos. They often make me laugh. But one that I watched on “Godvine” the other day really touched my heart. For those of you without computers, the touching video, taken by someone with a cell or smart phone, shows a woman sitting on the subway, surrounded by roses that she’s trying to sell to riders for $1 a stem.
A man approaches her, inquiring about the cost of the roses. She tells him one dollar. He asks how many roses she has for sale. One hundred forty, she answers. The stranger then gives her $140 to cover the cost of the roses, and tells her to give them away to others.
Shocked, the woman dissolves into tears of gratitude. As the stranger leaves the subway car, the woman composes herself enough to begin offering the roses to the passengers coming and going from the train.
That one brief exchange on the train—that one gesture of kindness—most likely has been viewed by thousands of people. The man’s actions touched the heart of that flower peddler and others who witnessed his kindness. Perhaps, as a result, others have been inspired to gather their courage to undertake an act of kindness. Perhaps, as a result, others might think differently about the woman and those who are in her situation. One moment+One act+One day+One person=one lasting impression for good.
It occurred to me, after watching the video, that we might use a variation of the above equation as an effective way to spread the Gospel. It doesn’t take much tweaking. If One moment+One act+One day+One person=one lasting impression for Christ’s sake becomes the new equation, acts like the one filmed on the subway, might just start making a difference for Christ’s sake. What if the man would have simply said, somewhere during the exchange with the flower-peddling woman, “God bless you.” What if he would have said “God created you to be a blessing to others, so please bless others with these roses. Please give them away!” Who knows how hearts might have been touched, and perhaps opened, to God’s presence.
As members of Christ’s church, we have so many moments to share the love of Christ if we look for, and recognize these opportunities when they present themselves. If we do little things for others, it can make a huge difference in the church and in the world as people are touched with Christ’s love.
Research now tells us that 60 to 80 percent of people in North America consider themselves “spiritual.’ These same people don’t think that it’s necessary to be a church member or believe in a certain way to be faithful. But what if these spiritual people came into contact with someone sharing a Christ-motivated kindness? Could they look at the church and Christ differently?
Maybe so, because it’s said that these same spiritual people are attracted to groups that effectively make a substantial, palpable difference in the community. It follows then, that when we do good things for Christ and others, and people notice these things just as surely as they noticed the man with the $140 in the subway, the cause of Christ is advanced, and the church grows.
It also follows that living faithfully, relying on Christ to show us those acts that he wishes us to do, trusting in him to give us the hands and heart to complete the work with love and compassion, is all needed for the living of these days. If we do rely on Christ I this way, and do little things that add up, we can teach the eternal truth of God’s love and grace and presence with and for us. And wouldn’t that be wonderful to know that as we answer God’s call faithfully, our sharing of love can reap countless rewards for Christ and his Kingdom.