At some point in our conversation, she began to wave excitedly to someone behind me. “You need to meet someone!” she said and got up hurriedly.
I stood and watched as my friend swooped in and hugged a middle-aged woman. “This is my friend, Katie,” she introduced me.
The stranger pulled me in for a hug before I could even squeak out the words, “Nice to meet you.” When she let go, I noticed her piercing eyes that seemed to stare straight into my soul.
She wasted no time with small talk and, despite the crowds all around us, I could tell I had every ounce of her full attention.
I don’t exactly remember the words we spoke that day— I only remember feelings. In the following moments God used her to impart life and healing. As my friend and I returned to our table, I blinked away tears. For the first time in a long time I felt whole and hopeful.
Have you ever had an encounter that was life changing in ways you can’t explain? That’s the kind of encounter I had that brisk October morning.
It’s also the kind of encounter we find over and over throughout Jesus’ life…
A centurion’s servant.
Over and over again, Jesus was moved with compassion for people. Though the needs were many and His days were numbered, Jesus never wavered from His mission. He saw. He stopped. He spoke. He healed.
But Jesus didn’t just stop for them— He stopped for you and me. When we were dead in our sin, He left His heavenly throne to carry out the greatest rescue mission of all time. He lived and died for our healing and wholeness.
Because Jesus stopped for us, we should stop for others.
As a Christ-follower, I’ll admit I too often fall short in this area. Far too many times I have ignored the tug in my Spirit…
To text a friend who is going through a struggle
To make time for coffee with the neighbor
To attend a funeral, joining in someone else’s grief
As moms our lives are busy; the crowds are loud; the to-do list is demanding. But if we’re paying attention, God will point out people He wants us to stop for along the journey. It’s not enough to hear God’s voice— we must have pliable hearts to obey. It will cost us our time, talents, and treasures, yes. But our God is faithful to impart grace.
The truth is, Jesus still stops for us. He stops to find us when we wander. He stops to speak life into us. He stops to sit with us in our joy, confusion, and grief. He also sends others, like my coffee shop friend, to be His eyes, ears, hands, and feet.
My question to you is: will you do the same?
Take a moment to think about all the times someone else stopped for you. Thank God for his mercy and their obedience. Then, pray that He will help you to stop and do the same.
Make your plans, but hold them loosely, yielding to ways He wants to work through you today.
Memory Verse: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." John 13:34, NIV