Unlikely Evangelists

Today, I met two people who showed me that the Lord  can use anyone as His instrument when He wishes to speak to us in our everyday life.  He taught me an important lesson through the most unlikely evangelists and I am better because of them.

It’s been a bperson pushing wheelchairusy day and a busy week.  The last person on my rounds was someone I had agreed to see at the last minute;  but when I realized how tight my day was going to be, I instantly regretted taking on the visit.

In the middle of my hectic afternoon, I received a phone call.  On the other end was the daughter of the new patient whom I had yet to visit.  She seemed impatient and more than a bit rude as she asked where I was and if I was still coming.  In a very matter-of-fact tone, I explained that the agreed upon time had not yet passed and that I would be there as arranged.

As I drove to their residence, in my head I was picturing what the daughter must be like:  demanding, rude, condescending, impatient.  What greeted me at the door was so far from what I had expected.  When your job involves visiting people in their homes, you learn to quickly and subtly scan the living space to get clues about what its inhabitants are like.   I saw a family struggling financially and an anxious, pretty young woman doing her best to look after a wheelchair-bound parent in a humble dwelling that lacked many of the comforts of home.  Within minutes of talking to both of them and observing their mutual devotion, I realized how wrong I had been.

These two humble, struggling people taught me about making assumptions and prejudging a person’s character.  In my busy-ness and self-importance, I reacted uncharitably to an innocent phone call from an over-burdened young caregiver.  Without taking the time to know her, I had dismissed her.

God uses all His children in His plan of salvation and evangelists can be the least likely people.   I just needed to open my eyes and soften my hardened heart to see that the two people I had spent time with were living the Gospel, and in their daily trials and self-sacrifice, were preaching it with their lives.  Two extraordinary evangelists reminded me that things are not always as they seem and what I am called to do is to meet and love my neighbour where they’re at.

Deo Gratias


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7 Responses to Unlikely Evangelists

  1. Hi Terry,

    Like you, I’m a health care provider and, like you, I see clients in their homes. The only difference is that my clients suffer from psychiatric disorders.

    I’m sure God us working with me, teaching me to be more like Him, guiding me away from the habit if judging others. The concern I have with myself isn’t that I might judge someone as rude, or demanding, or irrational. In fact, those characteristics are often symptoms of the illnesses I’m called upon to treat. I could no more overlook someone’s irritating behavior than you could overlook their high blood pressure. It’s my job to ‘judge’ other folks behavior.

    What I think God wants of me is the determination to give everyone good care, to treat everyone with kindness and respect. My concern isn’t so much that I’ll judge someone to be rude as it is that, having noted their rudeness, I won’t treat them as well as somebody else who, through God’s grace, has a more pleasant personality.

    The irritating people need my care more than the sweet tempered people. As the Great Physician reminded us, “a doctor comes to see the sick, not the well.”. Some of the people I care for demonstrate what could be termed ‘abominable behavior’. Those are the ones I try hardest to like.

    Thanks for all you do to spread the Good News!


  2. juanrbalboa says:

    Thanks. I struggle with knee-jerk judgments. This is a great reminder for me.

  3. reinkat says:

    I could hit myself over the head with this message 10 times a day, and it still would bear repeating. I work with the public–deal with all kinds of people and their situations, and it can be very stressful. Judgments are made subconsciously whether we want to make them or not. Paul says he tries hardest to like the difficult ones–yes. I think of the cheery pleasant ones as ministering to me so that I can face the really challenging folks who irritate and seem to deliberately offend.

  4. SR says:

    This was such a sweet post! It is so easy to “judge” someone when we do not have all the facts. This post is a great reminder, to have those facts, before we speak. Good job! God Bless, SR

  5. LOVE!!! If only people came out of their cocoons and loved one another…

  6. Love this post. Thank you for being a servant of the Lord.

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