When You’re Least Aware…

Sara and I are taking this week off to refresh, enjoy our children and grandchildren and some time with some dear friends we have known for 25 years. Before I go, I thought I would leave you with this. It is one of the most touching emails I received this year.

A few months ago we had a young couple who was visiting Los Angeles stay with us for a couple of days and really enjoyed their fellowship. One afternoon we went outside for a walk after it had been raining. When we got back to the house we found the young lady’s shoes were coated with mud on the bottom. As she took them off at the back door, I scooped them up so I could wash off the mud, knowing they were packing later in the day for an early flight out in the morning. Little did I know what God was doing in her through such a simple act. Here’s what she wrote me later:

It really was such a blessing to be with you guys for a couple of days and hang out. I think I shared once with you that I didn’t have a great dad growing up. He was very harsh, unloving and absent. One of my most frequent conversations with God is that he would just help me understand the love of a father. Since I didn’t get to experience the earthly kind, I sometimes have a hard time accepting/understanding the spiritual kind. God is pretty cool, because since I started talking to him about it, he’s placed some of the neatest people and visual examples of it in my life.

I know you weren’t even aware of it, but seeing what an awesome dad you are touched my heart deeply. The way you interacted with your daughter was especially impactingl to watch. I love how you’re kinda sassy with each other (I can really relate to that), yet it was so obvious how much you adore her. Julie was joking about you washing my shoes… but it actually meant a lot to me. I can only imagine what it meant to the disciples when Jesus washed their feet. It was honestly humbling to watch you wash my shoes, yet it was also a very powerful act of love. What a beautiful visual picture of how much father loves me.

And what’s so cool about you, is that you are just so genuine. I think that when we genuinely love the people in our life, others around us can not help but see God in that. It’s so freakin cool! So, thank you for just being you. Because of it, I now have a great understanding of father’s love.

I love her statement that genuineness resonates with people where pretense doesn’t. I think that’s pretty cool as well. It also points to one of the things I love most about this journey. God seems to work best when we’re least aware of trying to do something for him or have a specific impact on someone’s life. Maybe that’s what makes it genuine.

I wasn’t even aware that she was being touched so deeply. For me, I just saw some muddy shoes that needed to be cleaned so they would have enough time to dry before she needed to pack them. It was the simplest of actions and yet it profoundly touched someone. And what I like best, is that I was completely unaware of it at the time. For one who used to be a performer, who couldn’t do hardly anything without the conscious thought of what other people would think of me, this is a great joy and glorious freedom. What’s more, for all that performing, no one ever seemed to get touched like this.

Could it be that simply living alongside others and loving them will accomplish everything God wants to do through us? We don’t have to have the conscious agenda of doing something so others will be touched. In fact, maybe it is best that we don’t.

Reality wins! It always wins! Performances, are just that. It’s who you are when the lights are off and the crowd has gone home that makes all the difference.

Share this Post!

Related post

28 Comments
  1. kent December 28, 2009 at 8:33 am

    I love it. And it’s so true.

  2. Dwight Pond December 28, 2009 at 9:30 am

    Wayne,

    As you say, living loved and loving others. Could it be this simple? Based on the email, maybe the answer is yes. The wind blows – we feel it but we don’t know where it comes from. Blow your wind Father.

  3. Theresa December 28, 2009 at 9:38 am

    Wow. This echoes a conversation we had with a dear friend yesterday. He said his son was distraught about something so he put his arm around his boy and prayed something like, “God comfort my boy.” As soon as he prayed that he felt Father say, “I just did.” The simplicity of that blew him away. And us too.

  4. kent December 28, 2009 at 11:33 am

    I love it. And it’s so true.

  5. Gerald December 28, 2009 at 11:48 am

    “Could it be that simply living alongside others and loving them will accomplish everything God wants to do through us? We don’t have to have the conscious agenda of doing something so others will be touched. In fact, maybe it is best that we don’t.”

    I really love that statement. There is so much more peace letting God live through us rather than forcing God on every person and situation around us. It’s as if we are somehow having to prove God to ourselves more than others. If we would just quietly live our lives in Him, perhaps more of those around us would actually see Him.

  6. Dwight Pond December 28, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    Wayne,

    As you say, living loved and loving others. Could it be this simple? Based on the email, maybe the answer is yes. The wind blows – we feel it but we don’t know where it comes from. Blow your wind Father.

  7. Don December 28, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    Wayne can you help me with the deeper theological ramification of this story? :>) Seriously, Father keeps shouting KISS at me all the time – Keep It Simple Stupid. Simple is deep. “Simply” relate with me daily. This story illustrates the simplicity in which Father wants to demonstrate his love through others. My problem is I keep looking in the clouds when he is wanting to work out his relationship in me through my neighbor. Love the story.

  8. Theresa December 28, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    Wow. This echoes a conversation we had with a dear friend yesterday. He said his son was distraught about something so he put his arm around his boy and prayed something like, “God comfort my boy.” As soon as he prayed that he felt Father say, “I just did.” The simplicity of that blew him away. And us too.

  9. Richard December 28, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    Glimpses into the unseen in the lives of others, seeing a slice of what Father has been doing in secret is always sobering and life transforming, never is it an earned or expected right, how amazing is that!

  10. Gerald December 28, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    “Could it be that simply living alongside others and loving them will accomplish everything God wants to do through us? We don’t have to have the conscious agenda of doing something so others will be touched. In fact, maybe it is best that we don’t.”

    I really love that statement. There is so much more peace letting God live through us rather than forcing God on every person and situation around us. It’s as if we are somehow having to prove God to ourselves more than others. If we would just quietly live our lives in Him, perhaps more of those around us would actually see Him.

  11. Don December 28, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    Wayne can you help me with the deeper theological ramification of this story? :>) Seriously, Father keeps shouting KISS at me all the time – Keep It Simple Stupid. Simple is deep. “Simply” relate with me daily. This story illustrates the simplicity in which Father wants to demonstrate his love through others. My problem is I keep looking in the clouds when he is wanting to work out his relationship in me through my neighbor. Love the story.

  12. Dale Bare December 28, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Don, What KISS really means is Keep It Simple Saint. Father never calls us stupid. That’s usually my voice calling me that.

  13. Julie Todd December 28, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    I love how a simple act shows a picture unforeseen to us. I love how He speaks so loudly in the mix of our living life.
    He uses us when we don’t even know. He shouts through us. It’s all so astounding!

    Loved this!

  14. Richard December 28, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    Glimpses into the unseen in the lives of others, seeing a slice of what Father has been doing in secret is always sobering and life transforming, never is it an earned or expected right, how amazing is that!

  15. Dale Bare December 28, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    Don, What KISS really means is Keep It Simple Saint. Father never calls us stupid. That’s usually my voice calling me that.

  16. Julie Todd December 28, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    I love how a simple act shows a picture unforeseen to us. I love how He speaks so loudly in the mix of our living life.
    He uses us when we don’t even know. He shouts through us. It’s all so astounding!

    Loved this!

  17. Judith December 29, 2009 at 2:23 am

    God takes our ‘ordinary’ moments and makes them extraordinary

  18. Judith December 29, 2009 at 5:23 am

    God takes our ‘ordinary’ moments and makes them extraordinary

  19. Gary Lackey December 29, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    My wife & I just had a conversation that was so confirmed by your blogged experience, I felt like I had to respond. I call it,”the overhaul” from DC to AC power. It doesn’t mean as much to my sweetie as to me,(I work with tools). She recently received a note on Facebook that sent both of us into conversations with God. This former colleague, was trying to encourage us, or check to see if we’re still spiritually vibrant, fulfilling our prophetic destiny, etc. etc. or something like that. It caused both of us to ask God about what we are doing? Seems like nothing of real earth shattering consequence compared to our former days of great prophetic utterance,prayer,powerful performance, etc. etc.
    People who make tools don’t do these “overhauls”, it wouldn’t be economically lucrative. God however, is not motivated by the bottom line. Being the most charged battery, or building the best battery charger, (in AC–DC- terminology) was what our former church-life was about. It seems now that God is actually transforming us into plugged-in-to-Him-all-the-time people who’s simplest acts of living are capable of producing more powerful results than the super-charged purposes that kept our batteries charged and returning to super-charged meetings. DC-living is still somewhat attractive. We still find ourselves needing to talk our way through, with God and each other. The motivations that are driving us are being transformed like a wiring overhaul that would be required to turn a DC powered tool into an AC powered one. At some point, I think we’ll be less impacted by DC sourced stuff so that our responses won’t be defensive, haughty/arrogant, disgruntled, wounded, etc. etc. but loved and loving. ———–Not there yet, but more-so perhaps today than yesterday.

  20. Gary Lackey December 29, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    My wife & I just had a conversation that was so confirmed by your blogged experience, I felt like I had to respond. I call it,”the overhaul” from DC to AC power. It doesn’t mean as much to my sweetie as to me,(I work with tools). She recently received a note on Facebook that sent both of us into conversations with God. This former colleague, was trying to encourage us, or check to see if we’re still spiritually vibrant, fulfilling our prophetic destiny, etc. etc. or something like that. It caused both of us to ask God about what we are doing? Seems like nothing of real earth shattering consequence compared to our former days of great prophetic utterance,prayer,powerful performance, etc. etc.
    People who make tools don’t do these “overhauls”, it wouldn’t be economically lucrative. God however, is not motivated by the bottom line. Being the most charged battery, or building the best battery charger, (in AC–DC- terminology) was what our former church-life was about. It seems now that God is actually transforming us into plugged-in-to-Him-all-the-time people who’s simplest acts of living are capable of producing more powerful results than the super-charged purposes that kept our batteries charged and returning to super-charged meetings. DC-living is still somewhat attractive. We still find ourselves needing to talk our way through, with God and each other. The motivations that are driving us are being transformed like a wiring overhaul that would be required to turn a DC powered tool into an AC powered one. At some point, I think we’ll be less impacted by DC sourced stuff so that our responses won’t be defensive, haughty/arrogant, disgruntled, wounded, etc. etc. but loved and loving. ———–Not there yet, but more-so perhaps today than yesterday.

  21. Wayne December 29, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    Gary,

    I love your analogy and think there is a lot of truth in it. Once you learn to live outside all the religious hoopla, there is nothing left in it to get you back into that hype. I love living in the simplicity of his love…

  22. Wayne December 29, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    Gary,

    I love your analogy and think there is a lot of truth in it. Once you learn to live outside all the religious hoopla, there is nothing left in it to get you back into that hype. I love living in the simplicity of his love…

  23. exdroid December 31, 2009 at 4:16 am

    This is good. It reminds me of a part in the new book ”The Misunderstood God” about when Jesus washed his disciples feet right before he was going to be crucified. He saw this and relationship as the most important thing.

    By the way “The Misunderstood God” is a great book !

  24. exdroid December 31, 2009 at 7:16 am

    This is good. It reminds me of a part in the new book ”The Misunderstood God” about when Jesus washed his disciples feet right before he was going to be crucified. He saw this and relationship as the most important thing.

    By the way “The Misunderstood God” is a great book !

  25. Joni Menard December 31, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    One thing I have noticed about living loved is how I am less aware of “doing for God”. Wayne so much of your teaching and sharing about this journey points out what a farce it is this “doing for God” and so do the scriptures. Curt and I are convinced the only thing when we see Jesus that we are gonna talk about will be stuff that we had absolutely no idea it had any impact. I was working once as a hospital chaplain and I related an encounter to my supervisor and I was discouraged because in this encounter I never got to share about Jesus, I ended up just getting her a tray of food and she was so ridiculously grateful I was embarrassed. My very kind boss said Joni she didn’t need a disertation she needed her food and you brought it to her, that was being Christ to her in the moment. HELLO. That was too small in my mind. I think less and less about that kind of stuff and really find myself genuinely loving people. That’s what living loved does, it transforms me into realness.

  26. Joni Menard December 31, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    One thing I have noticed about living loved is how I am less aware of “doing for God”. Wayne so much of your teaching and sharing about this journey points out what a farce it is this “doing for God” and so do the scriptures. Curt and I are convinced the only thing when we see Jesus that we are gonna talk about will be stuff that we had absolutely no idea it had any impact. I was working once as a hospital chaplain and I related an encounter to my supervisor and I was discouraged because in this encounter I never got to share about Jesus, I ended up just getting her a tray of food and she was so ridiculously grateful I was embarrassed. My very kind boss said Joni she didn’t need a disertation she needed her food and you brought it to her, that was being Christ to her in the moment. HELLO. That was too small in my mind. I think less and less about that kind of stuff and really find myself genuinely loving people. That’s what living loved does, it transforms me into realness.

  27. exdroid January 1, 2010 at 4:48 am

    Joni
    I hope what you’re saying is right. In August 2008 my dad died in hospital from a 2nd heart attack. In the week he was in hospital i spent most days there with him for 4 or 5 hours a day. In spite of being out of church for a number of years i went back into ‘pentecostal’ mode where i felt i needed to pray alot for dad and felt a huge pressure that i ‘had to’ witness to dad and ask him to accept Jesus….but the pressure was too much – i could not even begin to ‘witness’ to dad….. Every day i spent with him though i told him i loved him – and for the first time in my life he said he loved me in response – each day in that week i visited him. I also made sure he got what he waneted from home etc…..

    The thing was – i never felt like ‘my love’ for him was important…..After he died i felt unbearable guilt for not ‘witnessing’ to dad (something i used to do years ago to him which only made dad more resistant when i was a pentecostal), and even more pain at not seeing dad have some miraculous salvation experience. It even sent me to hospital in April 2009. I’m still trying to come to terms with all this…… But maybe i make things too serious – maybe God was loving dad through me and others and he doesn’t ‘need’ us to say some magical words to cause people to know Him ?

  28. exdroid January 1, 2010 at 7:48 am

    Joni
    I hope what you’re saying is right. In August 2008 my dad died in hospital from a 2nd heart attack. In the week he was in hospital i spent most days there with him for 4 or 5 hours a day. In spite of being out of church for a number of years i went back into ‘pentecostal’ mode where i felt i needed to pray alot for dad and felt a huge pressure that i ‘had to’ witness to dad and ask him to accept Jesus….but the pressure was too much – i could not even begin to ‘witness’ to dad….. Every day i spent with him though i told him i loved him – and for the first time in my life he said he loved me in response – each day in that week i visited him. I also made sure he got what he waneted from home etc…..

    The thing was – i never felt like ‘my love’ for him was important…..After he died i felt unbearable guilt for not ‘witnessing’ to dad (something i used to do years ago to him which only made dad more resistant when i was a pentecostal), and even more pain at not seeing dad have some miraculous salvation experience. It even sent me to hospital in April 2009. I’m still trying to come to terms with all this…… But maybe i make things too serious – maybe God was loving dad through me and others and he doesn’t ‘need’ us to say some magical words to cause people to know Him ?

Comments are closed.