A BRIEF ENCOUNTER [196d]

Today I met, briefly, a woman who was behind a counter and serving coffee. Her presence and communication was of  a  radiant  warmth that simply glowed as if from some alien life form. In wondering about this, it seemed obvious that this quality could be described in no other way than that of love, a love that existed simply because it could, and for no other reason, certainly not for any pretentious one.

I had occasion to casually observe her in her interaction with other people, including with a father and his child. It seemed to me that if Christians were always like this, always manifesting such warmth and obvious joy of life to others, there would be little need of any talk of religion or source of motivation, because it was obviously the joy of life that was exuding from herself towards others, and a seeming desire to draw them into, and include them in, the same condition she herself was experiencing. I have no way of knowing if she were indeed a Christian, and I am sorry that I had no opportunity to talk further with her.

Here was an obvious demonstration of what real life should be. One can discover this in Christians, but sometimes it seems there are other factors also involved which can modify the extent of this obvious joy and presence of life. After all, this was not in a church, but in the place of her employment! It was a lesson to me in terms of how Christians should present themselves to the wider world in spite of all the misery that seems to exert a sobering influence on people, and also despite any other perceived conflicting requirements in Christian “service”.

Recently the verse   “..as those returned from death to life” had captivated my thinking in terms of its overwhelming implication for Christian attitude and behaviour, in showing how complete should the transformation be from the ordinary to the sublime. It seems the joy of life as supplied by the Spirit of love should be a prime ingredient in any attempted representation of that life which faith in Jesus brings, and its presence in itself should provide evidence of the overcoming of the natural state of death in which most mortal humans dwell.

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