The other day I had gone out with my Sis-in-Law for her birthday. As we were walking back to the car, she made the mistake of saying she needed a new pair of shoes……! So as we went past one particular shop I noticed how she slowed down, craned her neck to see the pretty display, hesitated, before walking on trying to ignore the pull of the shoes. So back we went and in through the door!
A day out with Steph isn’t a proper day out if it doesn’t end with shoes, or pink, or chocolate! This day had all three!
So while my SiL was trying on all these shoes I kept finding for her, we were joined by a lady in her 50s looking at a pair of hot pink heels… Such a kindred spirit! Haha! She must have been listening to the conversation SiL and I were having, because she suddenly started talking to me, asking whether a pair of shoes she was looking at went with a clutch bag she had already bought, and would ankle straps look better, and does the colour go with the dress she plans to wear which she pulled out of her bag to compare.
Moral of the story….you never know who is listening to you, or what messages they are picking up about you.
Me and SiL literally cracked up after she’d left as, as SiL took the mick out of me for being so recognisably shoe-obsessed, that even a complete stranger can get styling tips! I’m not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, I just know what I like.
But it made me realise that as a Christian woman, I need to be aware of how I am perceived by other around me. What messages do I give out as a woman, and as a Christian? As a youth worker and as a bible teacher? As a writer and as a speaker?
We are constantly giving out messages to people who come into contact with us, even when we don’t think we are. As Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 2:15-16, “we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life.”
People you come into contact with recognise something in you on a spiritual level. They may not necessarily recognise it for what it is, they just know they are either drawn to you or repealed by you. But this is no excuse for us, because the Bible clearly tells us that we are made in the image of God, and so we are Jesus’ representative for non-Christians – sometimes, you may the only example they will ever meet, of Who Jesus is.
Is this an ouch moment???
Jesus describes us as being “the light of the world”, and as “salt of the earth” in Matthew 5. We are designed to cause an impact wherever we go: spiritually, if not physically. I hope my countenance on that day wasn’t so much about what heels to wear, but was more about being the kind of woman another woman could seek advice from and know she won’t be ridiculed for not knowing whether a pair of shoes went with a bag, knowing that she found in me someone who is approachable, friendly and warm, from whom we could have a conversation. For all I know, she could live alone and not speak to anyone from one day to the next. But through the work of Christ in my life, I hope I was able to be a sprinkle of salt in her day.