“I Know You!”

The phone rang first thing in the morning and I didn’t want to answer it. I was still stumbling around with my coffee and hadn’t yet revved myself up for the day. I picked up the receiver and said, “Hello.”

The woman on the other end of the line introduced herself and explained why she’d called. She read a devotion I’d written and wanted to let me know she enjoyed it. Since the city in which I live was noted at the end of the devotion, she looked me up in her phone book. I knew exactly who she was; I had caller ID, after all.

She kept talking and I decided to let her. Her words were encouraging, and it was obvious from what she said that she’d been blessed by what she read. I was glad to hear it, especially from her, a woman I respected.

I decided I better introduce myself and let her know we weren’t strangers. We’d been going to the same church for almost twenty years. I knew she knew me because for a short time we’d both worked in children’s ministry.

Finally, I said, “I’m glad you liked the devotion, Carol. That means a lot to me. But I’m surprised you didn’t recognize my name.” Then I told her that on the previous Sunday, she and her husband had been sitting next to me in church.

People say all the time, “What a small world.” To some extent, I disagree. I’ve discovered that, with Christ is in my life, he’s opened it up and made it larger in ways I would never have conceived.

“You have heard of this hope before in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you. Just as it is bearing fruit and growing in the whole world, so it has been bearing fruit among yourselves from the day you heard it and truly comprehended the grace of God” (Colossians 1:5-6).

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My Big, Big World

The ringing phone woke me up yesterday morning after I’d been up quite late the night before, unable to sleep. Even without glasses, I could see that the person on caller ID was someone I knew. When she began to speak, I knew her voice immediately.

She introduced herself and told me she had been reading, as part of her morning quiet time, a meditation in The Secret Place. She noticed the author was from the same city and state she lived in, so decided to look the author up in the phone book and give her a call.

The author was me.

All the time she was talking, I assumed she knew to whom she was speaking; then she asked me what church I attended. To her surprise, we attend the same church. In fact, three weeks ago, I sat next to her and her husband in the back row.

“Oh, now I know you,” she said. “I just didn’t connect the last name with your first name.” We chatted some more and then  rang off, saying something like, “See you Sunday.”

I wondered later if she said to herself, “Small World,” as many would be prone to do considering the circumstances. The idiom seems to fit because you feel like the world keeps bringing people into your life that were there all the time, unbeknownst to you.

But I say, “What a Big, Big World.”

Since I decided to follow Christ, He’s enlarged my space. In fact, He’s given me the whole world. By introducing me to the people of His Church, my “family” increased immediately.

He also gives me the world He wants to save. I’m warned to not conform to the world and its standards, but encouraged to remember what the darkness was like. From that attitude, I’m more able to see people who need Christ’s love shown to them just as I did (and still do).

With Jesus, I have a new relationship with the world which takes into consideration His agenda for saving those He loves and helping to bring them into a relationship with Him. “Go,” Christ says, into the world He created.

Formerly, my life reflected worldly values and behavior. That was a Small Space in which to live. I have to admit the temptations of the world are always there. But now, my fruitful life includes everyone I meet on the path God’s put me on. Each of them challenges me in some way to walk more closely with Christ, becoming a little more like Him every day.