by Christine Clippinger
“And Jesus, when he came out, saw many people,
and was moved with compassion toward them,
because they were as sheep not having a shepherd,
and he began to teach them many things.”
Every week, my cable provider sends me an e-mail with this subject line: “See What You’ve Been Missing”. I’m not a fan of television. If my husband and I watch it, we usually flip through channels saying, “600 channels of garbage.” Frankly, we don’t have time for much of it, and we would rather occupy our precious free time in more meaningful pursuits. Sorry, cable; we’re not ‘missing’ much.
Today, however, that line caused me to wonder, “What am I missing?” My busy schedule and life’s distractions often keep me from doing things that I know I should do, things that God is calling me to do. Sometimes I worry that I fail to notice the opportunities that God is placing directly in my path.
I love special occasions that bring family and friends together, but there is rarely enough time to spend with every person in attendance. Recently, my husband and I celebrated our 25th Anniversary with a vow renewal. Loved ones were invited, and we hired a photographer to chronicle the event.
When viewing the pictures weeks later, a few images stood out. In these, my attention was diverted from the photographer’s main subjects and toward individuals sitting alone in the background. At the moment those photos were captured, I was enjoying the celebration, making sure everything was progressing, or sharing conversation with well-wishers; so I fear I may have overlooked a few people. Did I miss an opportunity to reach out to someone I care about in their time of need?
If snapshots were taken of every moment of my life, what would they look like? Would they capture people unseen, those I had neglected to help? Worse yet, would they contain the image of someone I had noticed but ignored?
When we moved to Missouri, we had difficulty finding a church. At one, we felt alone in a sea of people, and we seemingly went unnoticed for several weeks. We prayed that the next week would be our last if nothing was said to us. That Sunday, several church members approached us to introduce themselves. God had heard our prayers, and moreover, faithful people had followed God’s prompting.
When thoughts that I might be missing someone God cares about occasionally overwhelm me, I am reminded of my singular inability to reach every needy person. Instead, I make it a point to speak this prayer each morning: “God, show me the person that you want me to love in your name today.” This allows God to work in place of my worry and human inadequacies.
God gives me his eyes and directs my vision toward the needs that he has equipped me to meet. While it may be impossible for me to personally reach every oppressed person, it is more than possible for God to do it through each one of us. We are charged with the simple acts of being attentive to his prompting and maintaining open hearts in order to notice that one person God has ordained for us to help each day. Those are his snapshots of love, and what a wonderful, heavenly photo album they will make!
Who will God place in your path or on your heart today? Have you taken the time to ask Him? Will you be prepared to do what He asks you to do? In our prayer time today, let's breathe that same prayer that Christine shared,
"God, show me the person that you want me to love in your name today."
I pray that each of us will be the hands and feet of Jesus, and weave His love into the lives of those we encounter today, and every day. Bless you! ~Cindy
What a joy to introduce yet another beautiful woman of God. I met Christine years ago in one of my community outreach ventures, "Baskets of Blessings". Her heart for people was evident then as it is now. God has reunited us and is weaving our hearts even more profoundly. Thank you Christine, we are excited to hear more from you! We are Woven into a tapestry of love! ~ Cindy
Christine Whitehead Clippinger is a former Navy Engineering Aid, Commercial Interior Designer, Homeschool Educator, and Decorative Painter from Springfield, MA. Christine currently enjoys studying the Bible, watercolor painting, photography, volunteering as a Budget Counselor for Hillcrest Transitional Housing, and being a student of life with an undeclared major. She currently resides in Kansas City, MO with Mike, her best friend and husband of 25 years, and Max, her enthralling cat of 11 years. Christine and Mike have two adult children, Chelsea and Alex.