Meeting Jesus Everyday

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2019 11 18rRetired Methodist youth and community worker Tom Hill from Wiltshire shares some reflections on where he senses the presence of God in everyday life.

As a small child, I was adopted by a Christian family. In my teens I became a church member, but it was another ten years before I committed myself to be a follower of the Jesus Way. On leaving school I attended technical college, then did two years national service in the RAF. When I was demobbed, I returned to the family home and worked in the family bakery business. Over the years I moved from working in the bakery and trained to be a professional youth & community worker. After some years working for a Local Authority I applied for and was appointed as a Methodist Youth Officer. Since retiring from full time work, I have worked part time for a charity supporting adults who were abused as children and have got involved in a variety of local charities as a trustee.

I became a widower some twelve years ago. That was hard. I wondered what life would bring next, now that I no longer held the roles I once did, or had my partner beside me. It was then that the message of whole-of-life discipleship, living out my faith in everyday, ordinary life, gave me hope.

Since that time, each morning before the day begins, I have a conversation with God. God and I chat about the day ahead, who and what is in the diary, the who being the most important. We then think about what is not in the diary. The emails, the phone calls, the doorbell, and the people I will meet through the day. Who will I come into contact with today? I promise that I will meet each person as though I am meeting Jesus Christ himself. Whilst I don’t like everyone I meet, I can always see Jesus in them, not in a big, full, in your face way, but in the little things. A flicker of a smile, a cheery face, a handshake or the occasional tear. Before I’ve opened my mouth, I know I’m in the presence of God.

Meeting God whilst sitting in the chiropodist’s chair is a wonder to behold! We talk about bread-making, her life living with her teenage son and how I’m getting on with everything I’m doing, all whilst she deals with my corn and toenails. We are discuss each other’s health and wellbeing. I can sense God’s presence.

Meeting God when having one’s hair trimmed in the barbers is another interesting experience. The person in the que before me has special needs and his carer is with him. I notice how the barber takes great care to ensure that the person is okay with everything, showing him the comb, scissors and electric trimmers before using them. When finished, the person gives the barber a hug to say thank you and good-bye. I can sense God’s presence.

Meeting God in our neighbours can humbling at times. One of my neighbours is in her late 80’s, liable to fall when she isn’t careful, but cherishes her independence. When she wants me to go and fill up some of her alone time, she rings me up to see how I am. She loves pottering around in her garden. She knows I don’t, so she tends the plants in my window boxes and around the foot of the tree outside my window. I can sense God’s presence.

At the end of the day, I chat with God again about the people I’ve met, offering thanks that, in meeting them, I have also met and been inspired by Jesus. It’s a very simple act of conversation, but it makes a huge difference to my journey as a disciple, as I continue to recognise and respond to God, in the people I meet, every single day.

How is God revealed in the people you meet? What should we do in response? What happens when we don’t like someone? How can we recognise Jesus in people we don’t expect God to be in? Share your responses with us.

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