After an exchange or encounter with another person, what are you leaving behind?
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27, NIV
“Honey, did you get a new purse?” My hubby called from the hallway.
“Whose white bag is hanging by the back door?”
“One of the gals forgot that after our Bible-study lunch today.”
Beside it hung a potholder left behind by another friend. And in the closet rested a pair of shoes forgotten by one of the writers who came over for the monthly retreat day. Just a few inadvertent remnants from visits of the past week.
Then there are the intentional items. The gift of a puzzle, a book, a card, a plaque, a sweater. Everywhere I turn I’m reminded of the people who intersect my life.
But more than the tangible bits and pieces that are sometimes left in the wake of visits, friends have left other, larger things behind. Echoes of laughter. Memories of heartfelt conversations. Swirling creative efforts that filled each room. Scents of quiche in the oven and tea steeping in assorted mugs. A redolent spirit of prayer.
In every encounter we have with another person, we all leave something behind. I fear that I often leave behind self-important opinions, echoes of ugly whining or insistent striving to be understood. Instead, when I move on from a conversation, I want the thoughts, words, and spirit that linger to be filled with truth and grace. I want to leave what Jesus left with us—His peace. Reflections of Him.
FAITH STEP: Thank Jesus for the peace He leaves with us, and think of something to leave behind to bless a friend you encounter today.
Contributed by Sharon Hinck