This past Saturday night, I was browsing through my Facebook feed while sitting all comfortably under my heated blanket. Normally, this isn’t a big deal, but then I came across a particular post from HONY. Humans Of New York is one of my favorite things to follow. I have read most, if not all, of the posts for sometime.
The posts usually consist of a picture with a long description of what the person in the photo is going through, or a simple quote from that person. Lately, the posts have been a combo of Syrian refugees and regular ‘ole New Yorkers.
This recent post from Saturday though, really made me smile. The lady pictured is a missionary in New York. And yes, I said missionary. You don’t have to be in a foreign country to be a missionary. Anyhow, she is living in NY as she works to plant churches there. Her goal is to foster relationships with Christ in the people she interacts with. She realizes that while she is based in NY, she can reach people from all over the world who have come there. And they in turn can reach others in their home countries and so on.
The photographer came across this wonderful lady who is a real life example of a Christ follower, working to further the reach of the message. Amazing! I was just so encouraged to hear her story and see how unashamed she was to boldly share this with the public! I’m not saying that this kind of thing never happens, simply that it was encouraging to me.
In lieu of her public testimony, her final comment was to say,
“I know all my answers are super churchy, but feel free to share it. I won’t be reading the comment section”.
Now, reading that, I was rather cynical about reading through the comments. They tend to get nasty because not everybody shares the same views and people feel the need to express their opinions publicly whenever they can. Yet, I was once again thoroughly surprised to find that the comments were overwhelmingly positive. There were over five thousand responses to the post itself, and each comment had close to one hundred responses. Simply reading through the main responses was heart warming!
Many people from all over the world commented to encourage her in her endeavors.
Many of those positive comments came from MUSLIMS and ATHEISTS and AGNOSTICS and UNBELIEVERS.
My personal favorite was,
“I am not religious but this is the epitome of being a Christian. She didn’t give a cute story about whatever, she told exactly what was in her heart and her heart is full of Jesus. She believes in what she is doing and that is beautiful.” by FB user DMG-C.
This makes me glad to see that even though all these different people believe other things, or none at all, they were still encouraging and polite in their responses.
They were encouraging because she was bold enough to share her faith with the photographer, even when she knew it would most likely end up on social media. She wasn’t looking for the spotlight. Yet when it found her, she gave an answer from her heart and she wasn’t ashamed because of it.
There were the unfortunate few who decided to post negatively about her “narrow mindedness” because of her decision to not read the comments, yet most supported her because they know how rude some comments can be. They realized that while she wasn’t blocking out their opinions solely based on not wanting to listen to others beliefs, she just didn’t want to get caught up in all the negativity.
While I hope you all will go on HONY’s page to find the post and read it, and I highly recommend you do, I really just want to bring this wonderful example of positivity to your week in the hope that this lady’s boldness and fervor for the Lord will encourage you in some way.
Also, it’s a nice way to remind us that being kind to others regardless of their beliefs is something we are ALL called to do. So be kind in your interactions with others, it’s one of the easiest ways of showing the Love of Christ to those who need it most.
“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” Romans 9-13