“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”I Peter 4:10 (NIV)
A friend of mine shared with me a conversation she had with God, telling Him as much as she loves growing closer to Him, sometimes she desires for closeness with “someone who has skin.” I understood what she was saying because sometimes, as close as we feel to God, it feels good to share our feelings or experiences with another human being.
During my quiet time the next day, God walked me down memory lane. Approximately 5-7 years prior I had begun starting my day with “open hands,” asking God to choose my schedule for that day, asking for patience and a willingness to change directions if He offered an invitation for a detour. For a planner and recovering control addict, that was a hard prayer to speak, but I have found, overall, it’s a life-changing way to live.
God took my prayer and used it to stretch me with opportunities way outside my comfort zone. One such instance was when talking a solo airplane ride, my first since being married, meeting up with my aunt at a connecting flight. We were flying out to watch my dad receive an award. The flight was delayed, my aunt chose to take the adventure with me to get safely to California and while we were stuck in the Denver airport, God invited me to be His skin twice. The first time was to spontaneously pray with an older gentleman who was also stuck at the airport. He was attempting to fly to his brother who was dying of cancer. The second opportunity occurred in the women’s bathroom when a mother traveling alone couldn’t find a stall big enough to handle her stuff, her child and herself. I offered to watch her things while “wiggling my toes” under her stall so she would have peace of mind I wasn’t stealing anything.
Another time, while driving around town on errands with two of our three kids, God prompted me to turn around and head back toward the scene of an accident to offer to watch a young father’s child while he dealt with the police and the other driver that was involved.
There have been times I’ve bought coffee and delivered it to construction workers along the side of the road, given up a cup of coffee I bought for myself because God said a stranger needed it more than I did, or gone to the store and bought coffee and tea to deliver to my bank teller because God said she needed to see His love in a tangible way.
Sadly, there have also been times I’ve failed to accept the invitation God has offered. I regret those selfish choices and since have vowed to listen closer. When I stand in front of God on judgment day, I want to regret less choices and have more opportunities to present to God as a love offering, time when I chose to be God’s skin so that others could feel His love.
It’s never about us. God’s plan is to show Himself to all His children on this earth and give them an opportunity to choose life with Him or life without Him. I feel privileged when He allows me the opportunity to be His skin to others, and am always quick to point out to others it was God’s suggestion – I was just privileged to be His skin for the moment.
© Cheri Swalwell 2018