When I saw you get onto the plane, I thought, ‘those people have to be missionaries!’” the older lady in the aisle seat said, placing her hand on my arm as I was walking down the narrow airplane aisle. “You just had a look of joy and a glow of peace.” I smiled and thanked her, but inside I was surprised as I thought of all the stressful feelings I’d had that morning as I prepared for this trip.
As our conversation continued, I learned that she and her traveling companion were both missionaries from Australia. She was a short-term volunteer at a nearby leprosarium, and the younger gentleman was the director of that same mercy-filled organization. We had a delightful chat and exchanged contact information. A great start to the day!
As I settled into my seat, I reflected on our mission call. We have been here in Thailand almost a full year now. The language is sounding more and more familiar. We have learned enough to greet people and interact politely. I pray for the people God brings into our path and share a smile with those willing to make eye contact.
While contemplating how God would have me relate to people here in Asia, I was reading about the parable of the mustard seed and came to this statement: “So the work of grace in the heart is small in its beginning. A word is spoken, a ray of light is shed into the soul, an influence is exerted that is the beginning of the new life; and who can measure its results?” (Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 78).
What an encouraging thought. God can use my limited Thai words, my smiles, my prayers and perhaps just my presence to shed a ray of light into a soul. This side of Heaven, we will never fully know how we impact the world around us, but I believe that as we pray each morning, the Holy Spirit can use our willing availability to be the beginning of new life.