When I was small, I would sometimes sit right up next to the TV screen and look at all the red, green, and blue dots. It was weird, and cool at the same time, how all those tiny little dots came together to make a recognizable picture once you stepped back to see the connections. I can easily get caught up in looking at the dots - focused in on my little world. But God's been reminding me that He as a big picture – one that I don't necessarily see in its entirety. If I get focused on my own dots, I can neglect to make connections with others and in doing so, miss out on great relationships and other awesome things God is doing.
Several random things have created a beautiful picture in my mind. Let me see if I can connect all the dots for you.
Ten years ago, I worked in a setting with believers from other denominations. I was shocked to find out so many had a negative view of me when they discovered I was “Baptist." Assumptions were made regarding the clothes I wore, whether or not I was permitted to dance, etc. However, several later told me, after getting to know me, that I wasn't so bad after all.
Two years ago, my husband and I started chatting with the guy behind the meat counter at our grocery store. Basic questions turned into more detailed discussions. We've had a couple of brief opportunities to share glimpses of our faith with him. I'm intrigued to see how God will continue to work in this relationship.
Also two years ago, a co-worker shared with me that I was not what they expected me to be. They had made a few assumptions that I was going to be stuffy, weird, a “feminist" and just plain difficult to relate to. Thankfully, through a couple of conversations, they saw otherwise.
Two weeks ago, a few co-workers and I went to check out the new building location Texas Baptists will be moving to in the coming months. A young girl in her 20s got on the elevator with us, surprisingly spoke to us about something random, and we all shared a laugh as we rode to our respective floors. It dawned on me while in that elevator that each day, in our current building, I'm surrounded by believers. With the upcoming move, I'll frequently be riding the elevator with people I do not know – believers and unbelievers alike.
A few days ago, I was contacted by a counseling professional in my area who found my information and wanted to connect with me. We got together for lunch and had great conversation about God, faith, and helping others through our respective careers and opportunities to serve.
We can all make assumptions about others without taking the opportunity and making the effort to really get to know them – the person, not the assumption. I hope you'll make choices today to be a connector of the dots so you can see a bigger picture. Not just a dot inspector.