My maternal Grandmother was the most instrumental in my belief in God. Not because of the things she said, but for the things she did. As a child when I stayed at her house for the weekend she made an effort to leave early on Sunday morning to stop at Winchell’s Doughnut Shop before church. The shop was long and narrow with small tables lined up against the wall on the right, and a long counter of donuts on the left. Typically one or two homeless-looking men sat at their own tables.
While I eyed the donuts, Grandma greeted the men sitting quietly at the tables. She would tell them that God loved them, and then ask if she could give them a ride to church. I can still see her in my mind’s eye pointing out the glass windows down the street in the direction she would gladly take them.
At first her actions shocked me. Grandma was an elegant woman. Her home was a dreamy cottage with frilly lampshades, beautifully upholstered furniture, and tailored curtains. She was always dressed well, her hair was always styled, with perfect make-up that brought out the cheerfulness in her face. Even her car, a turquoise Thunderbird, was impeccable.
It was inconceivable at my age that she would let an un-showered stranger in her car with us. But as I grew up I discovered she did this for each of her Grandchildren. While I thought I was about to receive the blessing of a donut, she was blessing me with things eternal. She was showing me how to love others and how to share the good news of God's salvation. That was her true character. Her willingness to yield to Christ pushed past the façade. Jesus through her greeted each stranger and offered them hope in the way of an invitation. As I stood there holding a doughnut wrapped in a napkin in one hand and an orange juice in the other, wearing a pretty dress she made for me, I was seeing Jesus through her.
My Grandmother’s acts have forever encouraged me, knowing the small interactions with others may actually be life changing for them. So I grab every opportunity to reveal God to others. It may be as simple as sharing with a Taco Bell drive thru employee that he is named after the first man God created; his nametag read, “ADAM.” His response, “Wow, I didn’t know that.”