It’s undeniable that Julia Roberts’ has one of the most mesmerizing smiles. Coupled with her high-spirited and infectious laugh, she’s a human dose of endorphins. Her lively personality is like butter on bread. We are (or at least I am) the bread. When I hear her laugh, the sound of joy spreads itself thick on my soul and I become a portrayal of light to pass on to the next person.
We are each responsible for the emotions and spirits we choose to send out into the world. Popular culture has bought into the idea of returning to others exactly what they give to us. But if someone hates you and you decide to reciprocate that hate, who then is responsible for spreading love? Whatever we want out of life is also what we must be willing to put into it. If we want to be accepted, we must learn to accept. If it’s love we crave, we must comprehend the sacrifice of the ultimate love. Our emotions are like boomerangs, what we toss out will always return.
Today, I worked a quick flight from Denver to Chicago with a sweet woman named Lori. We briefly exchanged formalities before commencing the boarding of the completely booked flight. She was kind, but most of my flying partners are, so I thought nothing of it. Once the flight took off and we began our service, I had the opportunity to observe her a bit further. Something about her was different. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I felt it. Her demeanor abounded in kindness, sincerity, and humility. Mind you, I picked up on all these characteristics from a woman who was slinging cokes and spicy tomato juice. On my own, I’m a pleasant person, but seeing Lori’s comportment made me want to be even better. I thought,
Wow, that’s the kind of radiance I want my life to exude.
I decided then that once we finished the service, I’d ask her the only question that made sense.
“I knew it!” I beamed after I confirmed that Lori is a Christian. It was God in her that I didn’t initially recognize. She wore his love like a silk dress that clung to her every move, flowing in and through her.
As believers, it’s our responsibility to be a beacon of God’s love. The world is watching us, whether we (or they) realize it. They want to see if having God truly makes a difference in our lives. If we respond to life with anger, fear, cynicism, and negativity, what sets us apart from the world?
I had no idea what I wanted to write about today until I met Lori. I knew right away that I needed to remind us of the importance of walking in full faith as sons and daughters of Christ. He has called us to be the salt and light of this Earth.
Julia Roberts, a woman I don’t know and who doesn’t know I exist, makes me happy when she laughs. That’s insane, but the reality is these types of impacts are a huge component of human relation. Everything we say, what we feel, and how we carry ourselves are all contagious. It’s not just those that are closest to us who absorb the remnants of our choices. The stranger in the park or the man behind us in line at Target also have great potential to be influenced by our seemingly common handling of everyday life.
We should be spreading the love of God in every aspect of our lives. So much so that we would become so full in Him that His love would have no choice but to overflow out of us and into this world. Giving into defeatist attitudes because life doesn’t go our way is not the will of the Lord. Instead, it’s our steadfastness in the face of trials that is going to spread faith in God. We do not answer to the powers of this Earth, but to our heavenly father. People need hope, they need God, and they need us to show them that a joyous life is attainable. For with God, anything is possible.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.