BY: JULIE WHARTON
BIBLE TEXT: “So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.” –1 Thessalonians 5:11
PERSONAL REFLECTION: I have watched WSMV Channel 4 news for 30 years. It’s hard to believe that I have depended that long on Demetria Kalodimos and Dan Miller (prior to his death) for all of my information regarding the world around me, but I’ve been a loyal viewer for life. WSMV began running a commercial several months ago with Demetria asking the question, “Can one person make a difference?” I know this is their marketing tool to gain more viewers, but it piqued my interest and every time I hear it I respond with “Yes!”
I can think of numerous stories in the Bible where the answer to this question was also yes: Moses, Noah, and my absolute favorite story, Esther. Jesus Christ is one person who made the ultimate difference. His life personifies the difference that changed the course of history, but I also think of people that I know personally that have made a difference in my life or in the lives of my family such as teachers, coaches, pastors, and friends. I often think of Becca Stevens, the Episcopal priest of St. Augustine’s Chapel at Vanderbilt. Since the 1990’s, Becca has made a difference in the lives of women who were involved in prostitution and drug addiction. This one person has made a difference in these lives and thus made a difference in the generations to follow. Making a difference in the life of one woman has now translated into multiple homes for former prostitutes (Magdalene House) and the creation of Thistle Farms and the Thistle Stop Café. The lives that Becca has touched are far beyond the first woman that she reached out to. Becca will be the first to tell you that she is just one woman, but she is one woman who took the first step to visit a drug addict and prostitute in jail and made a difference in their life.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: There have been people throughout my life who made a difference for me. I sometimes wonder how different my life would be if they had not come along at that time. Whether it was a kind word at the right time, a note in the mail, or even a financial investment, I know that these people definitely made a difference for me. Author Jennie Allen (Anything; Restless) makes the point that we should never think of ourselves as so insignificant that we don’t have the ability to affect another life. Author Mark Batterson in his book, The Grave Robber says, “Be the miracle in someone else’s life.” So I encourage you to take the time and listen to that inner voice when God is leading you to speak to someone or show a little more attention. You have no idea of the life-changing possibilities or the eternal value of your actions.
PRAYER: Lord, remind me on a daily basis that I have in my possession something that someone else may need today. I pray that I become more comfortable listening to your voice.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Julie has been married to Andrew for 29 years. They have three sons: Seth, Caleb, and Aaron, and finally, a daughter in the family with the addition of Seth’s wife, MaKennah. Julie learns from the preschoolers of Life Assembly on a weekly basis. She also directs the Whole Life Market and the BackPack Program in several of the local schools. Julie enjoys working with other non-profit agencies reaching into the Wilson County area.