In my spare time I read Publisher’s Weekly. I ran across a blurb for Debbie Macomber’s latest title, a nonfiction book: God’s Guest List. Debbie, at first, made a list of 30 people she’d like to meet, yet when she met them, she’d often be disappointed. “I had misplaced my admiration,” she said. God asked her to make a new list–a blank page for those people God would send into her life.
“From that point on I’ve looked deeply into each face I meet,” she said.
Something stirred in me when I read this review. Isn’t that the way I’ve been? Star struck by Bono and his U2 cohorts, I’ve long placed them on my invisible list. But I wonder if I shook his hand if I’d be disappointed.
Contrast that with meeting a new friend from Croatia, just a brief dinner conversation at Cape Town 2010. He was lively. He exuded Jesus. He held a day job (lawyer) and also happened to be the head of the house church movement. I found him and his Croatian friends fascinating. I have a feeling God put him on my invisible list.
Or the girl who couldn’t stop praying. She prayed and prayed and prayed, scarcely taking a breath.
Or the missions agency leader who wanted to hear my France story so he could be a better leader of his teams. He listened. He affirmed.
Or the man who dared to pray over the airwaves of Baghdad, who shouted Alleluia when he saw reconciliation between Jew and Arab.
Or the new friend who dared to share the deepest part of her heart with me, a huge risk. It felt like she gave me her most precious gift. And as I listened to her spill her story, I found my self captured by her heart, her desire to love Jesus.
Or the girl who’s suffered much this year, who has been deeply disappointed by people, yet she still wants to hop on a plane and make a difference elsewhere.
These are people I’ve rubbed shoulders with in the last month. They weren’t on my celebrity list, but God placed them in my path to teach me what it means to be a Christ follower, how to be a listening friend. These new friends have, without saying it overtly, pointed me to the heart of Jesus.
So who is on your list? But more importantly, who has God placed on your blank sheet of paper in the past month?