The power to impact others is not so much in what we do, but in who we are. Throughout my life, many people have helped to shape my character, thoughts, and behavior, though I don’t always remember their specific words or actions. In turn, I want to make a positive impact on others, whether through a one-time encounter or a long-term relationship.
—Charles F. Stanley
When my husband and I were having difficulty getting pregnant, I was afraid to tell anyone. I didn’t want to admit we were struggling, and I acted as if the delay were intentional. But it became increasingly difficult to go to baby showers, to see pregnancy announcements on social media, and sometimes even to attend church on Sundays.
I had a hard time looking at all the growing families around me, and parents pushing strollers into the church or holding their infants during the service. Noticing my absence a few weeks in a row, a friend reached out and asked what was going on. I tearfully admitted my anxiety and told her how much I was struggling. She promised to sit with my husband and me the following week, and she came armed with tissues plus a cup of coffee and a donut from a local bakery. I’m so grateful for her boldness—I felt so seen and loved. It’s often difficult to know what’s really happening in someone else’s life unless you reach out.
Just think about the individuals you encounter on a regular basis—at church, the grocery store, even in your neighborhood. Interactions with these people are probably friendly and pleasant, but how often do you really get to know what they’re feeling or the hardships they might be experiencing?
Interactions with people are probably friendly and pleasant, but how often do you really get to know what they’re feeling or the hardships they might be experiencing?
In Matthew 5:14, Jesus tells His followers that they are the light of the world. He’s reminding them that they can have an impact as they move about in the world—by bringing warmth to challenging circumstances, illuminating what is true, and reflecting His presence. Take time to identify what is unique about the people you meet frequently. Pray for the Lord to help you identify ways to notice them and connect with them.
Remember, each of us has an opportunity to be a light in tangible ways. All we have to do is take little steps to get to know the people around us and make them feel loved, and the Lord will reveal ways in which we can serve them. Each small interaction is an opportunity to help someone feel seen, known, and even celebrated.
Illustration by Adam Cruft