Revealing my snack habits a little bit here… but you know when you are enjoying the delicious crunch of your Cheetos and before you reach in for another handful, you look at your hands to find them covered with evidence of your guilty pleasure? Oh YOU know what I’m talking about. The undeniable coating of electric orange cheese dust! You can lick it off, but once you reach back in that bag, your fingers will be covered again. That crazy good snack just has a way of rubbing off on you and leaving its mark, every time.
Forgive me for this “cheesy” analogy, but there have been some crazy good people in my life that have rubbed off on me too. Much like the Cheeto cheese dust on my fingers, they have left their mark on my heart and on my soul. Thinking about all of the positive influences in my life during this season of spiritual growth has caused me to ponder, who has pointed me to God? I mean, really led me to Him in a tangible way. Did I recognize it at the time? Or did they just leave behind a mysterious orangey hue?
Looking back, there are a few key people who have steered me down a more spiritual path. I remember in highschool the first person to ever invite me to church. This was significant because I had never been to church in my entire life. Not for church anyway. Weddings and funerals, yes. Church, no. We weren’t that type of family and I never really thought anything of it before, but the idea of going really intrigued me. Would it be uptight and stuffy like I had always imagined? (thankfully it wasn’t) I was curious and I went with her a few times which opened my eyes and heart to God. She rubbed off on me.
A few years passed and now out of college, another dear friend of mine invited me to join her for church. We had both been through challenges in our lives and it was a good opportunity for us to share some of our pain and work on healing. I have always admired her for her strong faith and fortitude. Gifts that she developed through her amazing family and Christian upbringing, and gifts that would serve her well later in life. Little did we know how much she would need her trust in God at the time, but I am thankful she has that now as she is battling cancer. She shares her journey on her Caring Bridge site and continues to inspire and point people to God throughout her struggles. She has rubbed off on me.
It is hard to imagine someone considerably younger impacting my quest toward faith, but never underestimate the power of a kind gesture in a moment of need. My oldest nephew appeared in my office one day with a gift for me. My husband had been losing hope with his sons and with our involvement in their lives. So much pain and so many tears had caused me to lose faith in myself and certainly in God. At one of my lowest times, I was given the simple but meaningful gift of a home recorded CD containing the hand written title of a song that had gotten him through some challenges in his own young life. “The Voice of Truth”. I’m not entirely sure how he knew the volume of voices that were carrying doubt and condemnation, but he was able to point me to a louder voice. To this day, I consider that one of my prized possessions and among my most life changing moments. On a regular day appeared a gesture that brought me closer to God, and every time I hear that song I think of that day and I am grateful. He rubbed off on me.
Growing up together and being positively led by her in many areas of my life, it wasn’t until we were several states and hundreds of miles apart that I realized what a spiritual soul my sweet sister is. As the Outreach Director of Elevation Church, she has the privilege of sharing her faith every day with so many people within her church, within her community, and within her reach. We have had some stirring curiosity based conversations to stimulate my faith. We have also had some slightly uncomfortable (or as she calls it “prickly”) conversations that have really challenged me to see things in a different light. It is often the people in your life that gently push you out of your comfort zone that rub off on you the most, and she definitely does that for me in the very best ways. I am blessed by these God filled moments with her to stretch my mind, warm my heart, and feed my faith. She is rubbing off on me more and more every day.
As I have drawn closer to Christ, I can see more of Him in my everyday life through the earthly angels that continue to impact me in such loving and lasting ways. It has not been big moments of grand significance that have steered my heart toward Him. It has been in the small gestures. In the inclusive invitations. In the unexpected gifts. In the thought-provoking conversations. In the situations that could have been easily overlooked and even more easily forgotten over the years. It has been these moments that have paved my path toward God. Snacking periodically on small tidbits of faith has filled me up with the spirituality that I hunger for. And as I reach back in for another handful, I begin to extend my own hand to you, in hopes that I can leave just a little of that electric orange cheese dust on your hands too.