My break from blogging continues until September, but today I’m excited to introduce you to my friend Shelly Miller. I came to know and love Shelly through her blog, redemptionsbeauty.com. She’s one of the most talented, authentic, and inspiring Christian bloggers I know. Without further ado, here’s Shelly:
I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I signed up to attend a leadership conference with my husband in England.
When six thousand people from 88 countries who represent a myriad of faith backgrounds gather in one place to worship the same Jesus you know and love, you can’t help but be changed by it. And realize that your perspective is quite small.
I stood on the concrete floor of the Royal Albert Hall, five rows from the stage, turning slowly like the ballerina on a child’s jewelry box taking it all in. Next to a folded seat draped with my damp trench coat, I watched people file into four stories of seats from the crowded city streets of London. Willing my mind to record it like a video camera of remembrance.
God’s presence was palpable.
Last weekend, I sat in a different kind of theater with my family, waiting for the new Star Trek movie to appear on the screen. As the lights dimmed, the putrid smell of alcohol and cigarettes permeated the air around us. My husband leaned over and remarked that the person behind us was so inebriated that the smell was leaking from his pores.
I thought about moving to another seat.
I thought about how I don’t like going to the theater anymore. I prefer watching movies on my couch with a blanket draped over my knees and eating popcorn from my own bowl, instead of a cardboard box.
I thought about the uncomfortable seats, how I have to swing my legs over to the left or right because the person in front of me leans too far back in their swanky theater seat, invading my personal space.
I thought about how loud the plastic wrapping sounds on the candy people were opening behind me; how when you are drunk you aren’t considering other people.
And then suddenly, I thought about how I sat crumpled up in the Royal Albert Hall just a few days ago, seated around people I didn’t know, listening to Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury say, “The key moment for Christians is when we realize what Christ did for us, not what we do for Him.”
So I repented of my hypocrisy and prayed for the person behind me as I watched Klingons threaten someone’s life from the Enterprise. He didn’t stand up and ask for prayer but I boldly asked God to heal him; deliver him of his addiction and let him know he is loved in a tangible way.
We are carriers of hope. There is more than one way to deliver it. More than one way that He’ll remind us of why we are here. God isn’t limited by venue, language barriers, cultural differences, faith backgrounds or our sin when it comes to showing His endless love and transforming power to mankind.
It is not what we do for God, but what He does for us that changes everything.
Shelly Miller is a writer, photographer, clergy wife, mother of two teens, and a leadership coach. She enjoys writing stories that make people think differently about life, helping women discover call and the luxury of being inspired by other cultures. You can read more of her stories on her blog, Redemptions Beauty and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.
P.S. from Heather: I love this post of Shelly’s because it reminds me that God’s presence is just as real in an ordinary movie theater as it is in the distinguished Royal Albert Hall. And God loves that smelly drunk sitting behind me just as much as he loves the most revered spiritual leader. He makes no distinctions, and he asks us to do the same. So next time I find myself standing or sitting next to a person whose aroma I find less than pleasing, I hope I’ll remember this post and be prompted to pray rather than turn away.