“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Matthew 5:16 NIV
After a very long day at work from 7am to 6pm and teaching bible study from 7pm to 9, I was exhausted, tired and hungry. Plus, I still had errands to run after that. To satisfy my hunger, I remember David raving about this Chinese spot called Golden Pacific. He said that it’s new and their food is really good, so I decided to give it a try. As I was driving, my stomach was letting me know to step on the gas and get some food quickly. It made all kinds of sounds, thank God I was in the car alone LOL. I finally made it to Golden Pacific and walked in. It seemed pretty live on the restaurant side. They had music playing, people dancing and drinking, singing karaoke but…..like I said I was starving, so I kept it moving. I looked through the menu and figured out what I wanted…well at least I thought I did. I'm probably the most indecisive person some of you will ever meet LOL. The lady behind the desk tried to help me and I continued to say, “Hmmm, I don't know”. Once I finally made my decision, I sat down and scrolled through my dying phone that was on about 10%. Then the lady behind the desk asked,
“Is this snack or dinner?”
“No this is dinner”, I laughed.
“Dinner? It's so late”, the lady said.
“Yea I know, I had a long day running the summer program and right after, I had to prepare for youth and young adults bible study”
“What did you say?”
“I had a long day running the summer program and right after I had to prepare for bible study…..I lead bible study for youth and young adults at my church on Friday nights.”
“Are you Catholic or Christian?”, she asked.
“I'm a Christian.”
She gave me a blank stare, it was hard to read her face but I just smiled through the awkwardness. Seconds later, she walks away from her desk and unlocks the door. I prayed a quick prayer not knowing what was about to happen. She walks towards me with her arms open, smiled and said, “I'm a Christian too, give me a hug.”
“Oh wow, that's awesome.”
I was so shocked and in awe of what just happened.
“Yes, we can say hallelujah and praise the Lord”, she said.
I gave her a hug and we talked all about Jesus, the Charleston shooting, forgiveness, she shared her testimony with me and showed me her bible in her language. I also had the opportunity to share with her how great God has been in my life, my church and ministry. She mentioned how that was her first day on the job and she knew that it was God working. Once my order came, I gave her an invitation card to my church and invited her to visit one day. We ended our conversation saying how we will keep each other in prayer. As I walked out the door waving bye, she said,
“I love you Tiffany”
I said, “I love you too.”
As I walked to my car, I felt so good and joyful. Meeting another believer unexpectedly is the greatest feeling. I did not need to be in my “church” outfit or act spiritual for her to see the God in me. I wasn't afraid to mention how I spend my Friday nights either. The innocence, the purity, the genuineness that shown through our conversations and actions was something I haven't experienced in a long time. It felt good to talk to someone that is curious and longing to know more about God and not letting the issues of this world change that. We do not have the same skin complexion, we are not the same race, we have different cultural backgrounds but serve the same God. There's so much beauty in that. What took me back was when she said she loved me. For some reason when she said it, it was a different feeling compared to when my friends, my mom, and family says it. I think it's because I never met someone that would love me without knowing who I am or about my life but, being left knowing that I'm a follower of Christ and that's all that matters for them. That kind of love is so pure beyond my own knowledge. I thank Jesus for being the prime example to show what unconditional love looks like and when I see it being shown towards me by others, it's no surprise that it's the God in them.
I pray that you were blessed and inspired to expose your faith no matter where you are. I pray that you have no shame in sharing your church activities with people you don't know, if they ask or not. I pray that you speak with boldness and confidence about your savior and not be afraid of the world, but they should be afraid you because of the MIGHTY God you serve. Be you and be the best you YOU can be. No one can be a better version of you but YOU.
"The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Mark 12:31 NIV
My name is Raquel Meraki and I'm a young woman who is on the journey of self discovery and independence.