“There is a time for everything,
and a season for everything under the heavens.” ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1
“For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring,
and my blessing on your descendents.” ~ Isaiah 44:3
This week the news of Bob Simon’s (a new anchor and correspondent at CBS) tragic death hit hard in my circle, many of whom work or have worked in television. He has been imprisoned in Iran during the Gulf War, reported from countless war zones, and won 25 Emmy awards. After all that his life was cut short by, of all things, a car crash in Manhattan.
It didn’t take long for the details to come out – the driver clipped a car on the West Side Highway and crashed into the median. In short order, details began coming out about the driver: he was a driver whose license was suspended 9 times and has several driving-related convictions. One of his arms was stiff making it hard to turn the wheel – it had been permanently damaged during a previous suicide attempt which involved jumping out of a building. The home address that he has on his license turned out to be the state department of homeless services. All in all, it would seem that the man wasn’t necessarily stable enough to be entrusted with the lives of passengers, and perhaps not stable enough to be behind the wheel of a car.
As I ponder this, I can’t help but relate it back to Christianity. So many Christians think we’re in our little safe bubble. The world is the world – it’s ‘out there’, it’s ‘them’. And stay firmly in our bubble of ‘us’, and we keep separate. My message to you all today is this: we are not in the world to erect a bubble around ourselves. We aren’t here to keep separate from ‘them’. We’re here to be vessels for them – to deliver the Living Water that the thirsty may drink.
The idea of a bubble is so false anyway. We don’t get to choose whether our waiter, helper, driver, etc, is a “fellow” Christian or not. We don’t get to choose whether they’re ‘good’. But in that moment, however brief, we are still dependent on them. We depend on these strangers without thinking twice about it, and that’s fine. We assume the risk. We have to. That’s how the world works.
But if we don’t seize the chance to pour out on these strangers, even if we’re only with them for a moment, the next person to depend on them assumes the same risk. If we leave them thirsty, who brings them Water? If not us, who?
If someone had poured out love onto that driver, would he still have lost control of the car – would he have jumped from that building and rendered his arm nearly unusable? Would he still have been speeding? We don’t know the paths of the strangers we encounter. We don’t know their pain or their joy. We don’t know their stories. But we know they’re loved, every bit as much as we are. We don’t always see the resulting fruit, but our encounters matter. Our words, our deeds, our attitudes, our mannerisms – they matter.
So I invite you to be intentional this week with me, just a little bit more than usual. See if you can love on everyone you encounter, be it with word or deed, even if it’s in just a small way. That impatient person behind you in line? Jesus loves them, a breathtaking all-encompassing love that would flat-out bring you to tears if He showed it to you. And it costs you nothing to let them know it. Even for just a second. So do it! Step out of your bubble and pour out the love! And then tell me about it at firstname.lastname@example.org.