life touching life: not fast, but deep

Mint and chamomile infused water
and homemade whole wheat bread
with rosemary and garlic
(c) vineandshoots

Earlier this week, a dear friend brought me two beautiful plants of mint. She uses the leaves to flavor her drinking water, admitting that she rarely takes the time to make hot tea with it. And it got me thinking. 

You know the old tea bag illustration: be careful what's inside because when the temp gets turned up, what's inside will come out. 

Well, it's not just hot water that draws out the contents of a tea bag. Sometimes it's time. 

Try it. Stick an herbal tea bag in your drinking water. Or throw in a piece of mint. The flavor infusion won't be immediate, but it will happen in time. 

This morning I was privileged to attend a "Celebrate Moms" event at Hampton Park Baptist Church. Our speaker for the occassion was business professional and pastor's wife Vicki Peek of Grace Baptist Fellowship (a sister church here in the Upstate). God opened our hearts to hear His message of life touching life as Vicki spoke about the importance of reaching beyond ourselves into others life in an intentional and relational manner. 

"Life on life impacts is sourced in the Holy Spirit."

We have to remember where the power and effectiveness comes from. This worthy walk that Jesus called us to is not one that we can fake or make up on our own. No, effective Christian living, just like true salvation, is a gift from God that we embrace.

Vicki challenged us to look outside ourselves, into our communities.

"Broaden your circle. Don't close your circle; keep it open."

Look across the generational lines--both directions. We almost naturally think of ministering to those younger than ourselves, but we shouldn't negate the possibility that God could use us to encourage someone older than us too. 

"And it's not just the big things." 

We must be "intentional" about living the Christian life, but we must also realize that "much of the impact is indirect, rather than direct." It comes when we're just serving Jesus and others see and are encouraged to glorify God. Sounds like Matthew 5:16, right? 

"Let your light so shine among men so that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which in Heaven."

Her final point, and the one that links in with the infused tea in even cold water illustration above, is that this kind of living is "relational." 

"Not fast, but deep."

It takes place over time, sometimes over a very long period of time.

"One life at a time."

Who's life is your walk with God impacting today? Who lives with you? What are you infusing into their lives? 

This is a challenge that steeps strong. God's been working its intense flavor into my heart this week. 

With Mother's Day tomorrow, it's gotten me thinking about the impact of a mom on her kids. There are times when I am very aware that that particular thought or opinion or way of doing something came from my mom. In the end, I'm sure her life has impacted mine way more than I even realize. 

The question then is raised: How am I impacting my kids? What's their cup of life being flavored with? Mint and chamomile--calming and refreshing? Or ... ?  

But it doesn't stop there. Going back to the cross-generational idea, I know my kids have impacted my life too. I think tomorrow, instead of just letting them pamper me, I'm going to figure out how to tell them what a joy it is to be their mom, how much they teach me, how much I love them back.

Still further, it's not just familial in a biological sense. Who else does my life intersect? Whose life do I touch? Who touches my life? How are we impacting one another for mutual growth in the grace and knowledge of God? Who are we encouraging to glorify God?

Thoughts to think on, I know. Believe me, I know. But even more importantly, these are thoughts to act on. I'm glad we're in this together. Let's keep stiving to live our lives reaching out to others for the glory of God, remembering that the starting point is a real and growing relationship with God Himself. Thank you for impacting my life, too, as you make comments and stay in touch in a variety of ways. I love hearing from you.

Happy Mother's Day! 

Grace and peace, 
with love, 


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