Sometimes you have to laugh at God’s timing and sense of humor. Last week on my way into church to meet my husband for Saturday night services, I was stopped by a woman at the front door who looked lost and confused. She confessed she was a first-time visitor and was overwhelmed by the sheer size of the campus.
Normally I’m very unapproachable when out in public. I walk head down, ignoring passersby (yes, even at church). To be singled out by a stranger isn’t normal for me. Without hesitation though, I answered with an enthusiastic “YES.” Hoping to make her feel welcome, I invited her to sit with me and my husband, which was completely out of character for me. She agreed and I shared briefly with her how my family and I came to make the Vineyard our church home.
Once we found my “usual seat,” I asked a few more questions learning she’d recently moved from Mesa and was newly divorced. She admitted, with so many life changes, she’d never had to make decisions like buying a house or finding a church on her own before.
Before the service began, I shared a “proud mama moment” as my son was playing in the worship band that evening. I introduced her to some small group friends and a few people who sit near us. I made sure to tell everyone this woman was a first time visitor, hoping my friends would do their part to make her feel welcome. Thankfully, they did not disappoint.
Brian’s message about becoming “YES” people, touched on many points that applied to me, such as pushing past our introverted tendencies in order to love people as God does. As a social misfit, I am the self-proclaimed Queen of the Introverted Parade, so Brian’s message helped me to appreciate God’s sense of humor and timing.
Not only did the message speak to me, Brian touched on many things this woman was going through: divorce, starting over and moving out of our comfort zone. At the end of the service, I noticed her wiping her eyes, so I took that to mean the message was exactly what this visitor needed.
During the service, I saw myself on the big screen volunteering, as well as a video shot at my home as a small group host. Putting myself in this visitor’s shoes, I imagine she thought I was active in all sorts of church related activities, had a large group of friends and was a regular Miss Congeniality.
It’s ironic that I’m not normally that person – but for “whatever reason” God showed me that I’m not the introvert I make myself out to be. Operating outside my normal comfort zone challenges me to try harder – especially at church! As I break out of my introverted bubble, I pray this woman and other visitors will joyfully return to the Vineyard – not because of me, but because she felt the genuine love of Jesus through me and ALL of the welcoming people in our congregation.
Being used by God satisfies my soul more than any other pursuit I’ve chased. It’s more than just a right time/right place thing. It’s being obedient and willing to say “YES” to God within HIS TIMING – not just when we are comfortable. If we wait for that to happen – chances are we’ll miss out on many of God’s abundant blessings.
Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. Philippians 2:4 (NLT)
Blessings in Christ,