My mother grew up in the days when gentlemen drove and ladies rode, so she didn’t get behind the wheel of a car until well into her thirties. Fortunately, she loved to walk and I have happy memories of us walking, talking, and playing “Twenty Questions.”
I still love to walk. My jogging days are over, but nearly every day for more than two decades, I have hiked three miles.
Since we moved to a neighborhood with sidewalks seven years ago, my daily steps have been a great way to meet people.
“Are you going to talk to someone today?” my introvert husband asked as I tied my Hoka athletic shoes.
“I never know,” I replied with my extrovert smile.
But I do know that I’m praying to be an “agent of blessing.”
That’s a term I read in a devotional by Chris Tiegreen based on Proverbs 11:11:
“By the blessing of the upright, the city is exalted.”
Here are some answers to my traveling prayer:
A bright, summer morning I saw a forlorn-looking boy sitting on his bicycle blocking the sidewalk. As I got closer, he moved to the grass.
“Thank you–that was really thoughtful of you!” I told him. ” You are a kind young man. I hope you know God loves you very much. Never forget that!”
He cheerily responded: “Have a nice day!”
One cold afternoon as I approached a middle-aged woman getting off a bus, I remarked: “That red coat is a beautiful color on you!”
She smiled broadly, confessed she was lost, and asked if I could help her find her destination. I Googled it on my phone and pointed out the building to her.
Just today I overheard two lawn care workers speaking Spanish during their water break. I smiled and said, “I have a blessing for you–OK?”
They both nodded yes, while one took out his earbud and the other removed his hat. I spoke the Español blessing I memorized when I traveled to Mexico for the Spanish edition of my first book many years ago: “Les mando mucho saludos y bendiciones en el nombre de Cristo .” *
“Muchas gracias!” was the grinning reply.
The ways God uses me as an agent of blessing may look very different than how He uses you, but I believe each of us “upright” people can be a blessing-deliverer.
You may not be a talkative people-person like I am, but as Christ-followers, the same Spirit who guides and empowers me lives inside you as well! He will use your distinctive personality and gifts to be an agent of blessing no matter what path you’re on–physically or metaphorically speaking.
You might be at the office offering smiles or compliments to co-workers.
You might be home dishing out warm hugs and delicious dinner to children.
You might be sitting on the couch signing a card of encouragement to a struggling friend.
You might be flat on your back in bed picking up the phone to check on another hurting person.
You even might be in a doctor’s office or chemo room silently praying that healthcare workers and patients see Jesus in you– despite the dread you feel.
We may never know this side of Heaven how our blessing touched another person. But whether our travels are happy or hard, planned or pushed upon us, we can trust God to use us as agents of blessing in a world longing for His loving-kindness.
* (For my non-Spanish speaking friends, “I bring you many greetings and blessings in the Name of the Christ.”)
Enjoy the words of the old hymn “Make Me a Blessing.”