A couple of weeks ago, my employer began construction in our workspace. As a result, a bank of elevators which directly accessed our floor from the parking garage were no longer available. Instead, employees now use the main garage elevators.
At first I thought, “well geez, this certainly is inconvenient” – I soon discovered God’s purpose for re-routing us (me!) – I now have the opportunity to witness more frequently! Granted, the witnessing may come in the form of a smile, a “good morning!” or simply holding the door, but they are witnessing opportunities all the same.
One morning as I approached the elevator, I greeted a woman with a “Good Morning!” and a smile. Once we entered the elevator she said something along the lines of “It is so nice to see a friendly face! – Often I get on the elevator with women and they look as if they are ready to bite someone’s head off! They are angry about traffic or time or something else!”
Wow…what a timely reminder to step out of myself for a moment and engage others with the love of Christ!
A day or two afterwards, as I was approaching the same elevator bank, I saw another woman waiting. As I greeted her with a smile and “Good Morning” I commented on how beautiful she looked. Somewhat startled, she commented on how nice it was to see a friendly face (notice a theme here?); she went on to share that she almost didn’t come to work because she hadn’t slept well due to leg cramps. I gave an encouraging word and then she went on to share that she was a cancer survivor and was “never the same” – to which I exclaimed, “I certainly hope not! No doubt God can use you as a witness to those going through a similar experience!” I also shared a phrase I often remind my dad of, “If you woke up this morning, surely God has work for you to do” – as we walked from one elevator bank to another, we soon discovered we both work for the same company.
Granted, it is a large company, but that brief encounter emphasized how critical it is to constantly push the boundaries of my comfort zone. What started with an attitude of inconvenience quickly revealed a reminder to be a 24/7 witness of His boundless love, mercy, and grace in everything we do.