Not too long ago, we held a dinner party with two area Vineyard pastors and their families. When the four children had finished eaten their fill (long before the old folks were done, of course!), we produced a goodie bag for each of them. They ran off to explore their treats, only coming back to the table to ask parental permission to eat some of the candy. To clarify, not everything was sugar. There were other things, too, like books of stickers, which the youngest adored! (she made an extra trip back to the table, excited to show her mom the beautiful, iridescent birds in her book.) Over the next two weeks, we found out how much she enjoyed them, and how much she enjoyed decorating with them! They were on lamp shades, the walls, the sofa, a chair leg, an end table, a door, a window . . . She had left artistic mementos of her enthusiastic, four-year-old travels through our house. Each avian discovery was a smile-inducing reminder of this adorable cherub’s visit to our home (I’m smiling even now as I write). I think several of those silvery birds have migrated to pride of place on the side of our refrigerator. (they are child-safe, repositionable, non-marking, in case you were alarmed).
I’m inspired by the idea of leaving a ‘trail’ wherever we go. Not a trail of stickers, as charming as they can be, not bread crumbs a la Hansel & Gretel, not suffocating, allergy-producing cologne, but unseen, unspoken, yet intentional, prayers, blessing those around us – like the next customer to come to the gas pump you’re using or the lady testing the tomatoes in the produce aisle, the cashier, the next person to walk into your office, the driver texting in the car ahead of you, your supervisor, each of your students, your ‘Prime’ delivery person? Prayers have spiritual substance and are impactful. None are wasted. Maybe our intentionality could prompt us to lift others up, rather than grouse about their failure to respond to our text, to go the extra mile instead of saying, ‘Get it yourself,’ to smile and patiently listen to that angry customer, to first wonder what that annoying person’s stress or worry is today – maybe even ask?? We can do this because we are living Jesus’ life now, not ours. We are his ongoing, living-today, invitation. If we keep this up long enough, we may hear ourselves speaking blessing on others! Out loud! Now, there’s a radical idea! I think I’m on to something big! Who knows where this could go? PD