I drive a Volkswagen Beetle. It’s red. Definitely a throw-back to my college days. As I look out my office window I can see the parking lot where my VW sits. I look at all the cars, I can’t see another red VW. I can see over 100 cars, but none like mine. I know there are a bunch of them on the road, I just can’t see any of them today.
But, an interesting thing happens when I’m driving my red bug and I see another red VW coming my way. Instinctively, I wave and exchange smiles to the other driver. They ordinarily do the same. They don’t know me. I don’t know them. But, in an instant, we have something in common. There is a sense of pride or maybe an internal connection that happens. We’ve all experienced encounters like this. You’re not looking for them and they’re not looking for you, but when you see them, you immediately identify with them.
When we live our lives in the public domain, people are watching. They may not be looking for us. We may not be looking for them. But when you see someone who is living out their values and those values are your values, you notice. Someone picks up a piece of trash, opens the door for someone, says “please and thank you,” gives a cup of water to someone who needs it, sends some money for hurricane relief, helps feed the homeless, sides with the underdog…you notice…you acknowledge…you smile. It may even spur you on to participate with them. Jesus said, “We are intimately linked in this harvest work. Anyone who accepts what you do, accepts me, the One who sent you. Anyone who accepts what I do accepts my Father, who sent me. Accepting a messenger of God is as good as being God’s messenger. Accepting someone’s help is as good as giving someone help. This is a large work I’ve called you into, but don’t be overwhelmed by it. It’s best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice. You won’t lose out on a thing.”Matthew 10:42 (The Message).