common ground

Griffin had surgery a few weeks ago. The nurse anesthetist was amazing. She had toys and candy and all sorts of gadgets to keep him occupied and interested in what was going on. But still, anxiety over what was happening seized him. And then it happened. He looked at the lanyard that her ID was hanging on and smiled. He leaned forward and touched it and said to her “Boston Red Sox? You like the Red Sox?” --- and so began a friendship. She seized the moment and started talking to him about players and games … and he was hers. He gave me a quick “I love you” and a kiss and then went right off with her, chatting the whole time.

I was reminded by their encounter how important it is to find common ground with others before sharing the gospel with them. Sometimes in our urgency to share Christ with the world we can be “outsiders” --- someone that others can’t seem to relate to.

Years ago, when my husband was a newspaper columnist, I asked him who the most interesting person was that he had interviewed. I thought surely he would say Catfish Hunter or one of the many politicians he’d interviewed over the years. Instead, his answer surprised me. “I can’t say,” he responded. “Everyone has a story to tell. You just have to get it out of them.”

Next time you are out in the community, look around and let your curiosity take over. Ask the clerk where she’s from. Ask the teller how many children she has. Ask the doctor where he went to med school. Get interested, and I guarantee you will find some common ground.

And when you have common ground, you have the amazing opportunity to share Christ.

happy new year...

Don't you love the fresh look and feel of a new notebook page? How about that new car smell? Or the smell and feel of a brand new baby in your arms?
Newness, novelty, a fresh matter how you say it, it seems to be a universal feeling. Everyone loves a clean slate. Isn't that why most people love New Year's? We can start over. Make plans. Really mean to stick to it this time.
The ultimate "do-over" came when I accepted Christ as my Savior. He not only washed me clean of my sins, but God says He removes my sin "as far as the east is from the west." He remembers them no more. In the 51st Psalm, David asks God to "restore to me the joy of my salvation." That is my prayer for each of you this New Year's. That you would remember and rejoice in your own salvation. That you would be so in awe of what God did for you that you have no choice but to share it with others. That others would see Christ in you, the hope of glory.
If you do not know Jesus personally, I pray that this will be the year that you come to know Him and experience firsthand that cleansing that washes white as snow. That turns us into a new creation. The old is gone; the new has come.
God bless you this New Year.