For 36 years, I was a teacher in a public school. I loved what I did. I always tried to live my life as an example. No, I wasn’t perfect then, and I’m still not. But as the scripture says, “…whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Cor. 10:31 NLT
I saw about 120 students daily in my classroom and came in contact with countless others throughout the day in the halls, lunchroom and on the playground. I was around administrators, office staff, custodians, teachers and other supportive staff every day as well. That’s a lot of opportunities to share the love of God. Some people will say, “you can’t talk about God in a public school!”
Well, I’m here to say that you don’t need to. I shared the love of God by loving those I came in contact with. It didn’t matter who they were. I had great relationships with students of all backgrounds. Without really being aware of it at the time, I gave each one of my students the love of God just by showing that they were important, they mattered. Sometimes, they’d hang around after class just to tell me about their day or want to share about something that happened to them. It may not have had anything to do with the lesson that day, but it mattered enough to them to share it with me. By taking the time to listen, I gave validity to them.
Thinking about all of the opportunities to share that I walked away from when I retired, does that mean I no longer share God’s love? Of course not! I use every opportunity I can to reach out to others. I’m active in my church through several ministries, and I love my church family. But, more importantly, I need to step outside of my church family and reach out to others in my community and as far as my words can reach to touch others.
I go to the bank, grocery store, post office, drugstore, and restaurants on a weekly basis. Those are opportunities to interact with other people. Our woodworking business brings us in contact with people at craft shows, festivals, and customers through our Etsy shop and through Facebook. We often get custom orders, too. I may not talk about my faith all of the time, but I can show them God’s love. We can run our business in a manner pleasing to God.
I am amazed at the number of friends from my past, students, parents and former students that follow me on Facebook. I love interacting with people on Facebook. Sometimes I see a side of them I’d rather not have seen. But, it’s often surprising what you can learn about a person’s heart. I know, before you say it, people can post things that they don’t really mean. Yes, that’s true. But I guess I choose to believe in the good in people.
My blog is another online presence that helps me reach other people. This is often a different group of people than those that follow me on Facebook. However God chooses to use me is okay with me. I just try to be open to where he leads.
Share God’s love with whoever you come in contact with. That’s what he’s put on my heart today. Love you.