Right around the feast of the Epiphany, I was in a train station in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, on my way from visiting my father and my brother and his family. It was early morning and I hadn’t had breakfast yet, and I was pretty hungry. So after I got my ticket, I sat down and looked around to see if there was anywhere I could buy some food.
This train station is pretty rundown and tiny, so it didn’t take long to notice a food stand in the corner. When I looked over, I saw a little nativity scene on the counter. Hmm, I thought, a Christian. So, I took a walk over and got a cup of coffee.
I saw the woman working there reading a book. “How’s the book?” “It’s great. Usually it takes me about a week to read a book, but,” she said as she showed me that she’d already been through about 2/3 of the pages, “I read all this on Sunday.” She mentions on the side that the author is Christian, and tells me that the book is about an autistic boy who is bullied in school. So, it brings Scripture into the circumstances? “Oh yeah,” she showed me a few pages. “It brings God into everything.” Then she showed me the whole list of books that this author has written. Each of them deals with a contemporary real-life circumstance through a Christian and Scripture approach. That’s my kind of author, I’m thinking. This is my kind of place.
So, I saw some oatmeal and my stomach let out one of those groans. Next thing, I’m standing with a hot cup of oatmeal and a coffee, and I’m about to pay. “OK, how much?” $1.75. “But I have the oatmeal too with the coffee.” “Yes, $1.75. 1.25 for the coffee and 50 cents for the oatmeal.” I couldn’t believe it! A buck seventy five for an oatmeal and coffee! This really is my kind of place. So, I gave her a very big tip.
Well, I went over and had a seat nearby, and I ate the oatmeal, and it was so good – I decided to get another one. So, I got back up, paid another 50 cents. This time, I gave her another really big tip. As she reached over to put it into the tip jar, she said with a happy smile, “Thank you. People come by and sometimes I give them the money from the tips. I give all the tips away to people who really need them.” This is it, I thought. In this dingy little train station, here is this woman selling food for next to nothing, giving away all the tips, and lifting everyone up. Here she is bringing God into everything she does. This really is my kind of place. The whole thing made my day.
When the wise men arrived at the house where the holy family was, how did they recognize that this was the place of the newborn king? I think they saw that the house was dingy and little, and they knew that now God was coming into everything. And when they entered, they saw the woman who was doing it, they saw the woman who had brought Him into the world. They saw a woman lightening everyone’s load, sharing all her gifts, and lifting everyone up. When they saw that, you know what I think they were thinking? This is my kind of place. And they were very big tippers.
You know, the treasure in this life for Christians is the gift of being able to bring God into everything. That is where we get our dignity, that is where we get our happiness, it is where we get our purpose in life. If we want our churches or seminaries or families or whatever to be filled, if we want to experience life and love, if we want to experience real miracles, all we have to do is bring God into everything. Lighten everyone’s load, share all our gifts, lift everyone up.
When people see that, they will come.
That’s when they can say, this is my kind of place.
The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not. He came to his own home, and his own people received him not. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. (Jn 1:9-14)
2 thoughts on “Bring God Into Everything”
I am delighted to know that I had the chance to meet people who can see the beauty of God in every detail. I’m happy because I know when I get weak on my path with the Lord at least I will have the courage to look around and know that there is at least one that is able to see that God is quite simple, as I see. Tks for sharing again!