In my last blog, I shared about gratitude for the occasional little unexpected visitations from God—someone unknown and unexpected who shows up and gives us encouragement, either by something they do, or just by their presence.
Today, I want to focus on you being that someone—yes, YOU! You can be a visitation from God to someone else—a ray of hope, a little slice of heaven, the hand of Jesus touching someone. Consider this Scripture:
“Pure & undefiled religion in the sight of our God & Father is this: to visit orphans & widows in their distress, keeping oneself unstained by the world.”—James 1:27
One of my former doctoral students, Dr. Deena Van’t Hull, and her husband operate an orphanage in China. She wrote her dissertation on how children’s lives are changed through such ministry as James writes about. God showed her the deeper meaning of this verse: “As Christ the Hope of Glory resides in the believer, this action [visiting] becomes not only a representation, but a release, as Jesus in the believer meets the orphan [or widow or sick or other person in need] face-to-face. This becomes a power-packed visitation releasing supernatural effects.”
She went on to explain and to demonstrate from her ministry to orphans that “visit” does not mean just to care for. God does not merely care for us when He visits us—He does something remarkable, out of the ordinary, supernatural, a movement of the Holy Spirit.
When we visit someone—whether an orphan, a widow, an elderly person, a mentally or physically-handicapped person—we are doing something very special.
I have experienced that many times in my life. I will share just one. My Aunt Ruby Wind, my Dad’s sister, was a widow and had no children, living in a nursing home. I lived hundreds of miles away, but every time I went to visit my father, I also tried to visit Aunt Ruby. Her she was almost blind and deaf, and her mind was not clear, so she did not always remember me at first. But as we talked, she remembered, “Oh, yes, you are John’s boy, the preacher.” She would smile and say, “What happened to your red hair?” She had a dry humor about her. She would ask me to read a poem or a Scripture, and then ask me to sing. We would sing an old hymn together. The nurse told me she would always light up when I would come to visit.
I would light up too, because it gave me joy to bring just a little joy into her life. The 17th century monk Nicholas Herman, known as Brother Lawrence, who wrote the little book Practicing the Presence of God, said this, “We ought not to be weary of doing the little things for the love of God, who doesn’t really think about the greatness of what we do, but the love with which it is performed.”
God’s presence is there In a special way in the little things. You can be a special visitation from God to someone else. Ask God whose life you can light up with your presence—Jesus in you—God’s presence.