Last week I shared about the beauty of nature we experienced while on our trip to the Canadian Rockies. This week I am reflecting upon the people who comprised our group of travelers. We enjoyed the beauty of the people as well as the beauty of nature during our ten-day motor coach tour. God is our Creator whether I think in terms of the natural wonders of the world He created or the people He created who live within His world. While reading Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, I realized that our group was a personification Paul’s description of love in I Corinthians 13. Our group exemplified love in several ways.
Love is patient, love is kind
I Corinthians 13:4a
One of the things that impressed me most about the people of our group was that everyone was always courteous and punctual. Everyone was considerate of those around them. For example, when getting on and off the motor coach, there was no squeezing into line ahead of someone else. However, if one person needed to get ahead of another person, there was no problem to accommodate their need.
(Love) is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant
I Corinthians 13:4b
One of the ways we became acquainted with each other was sitting together around a table sharing a meal. The topics of conversation were significant to me. No one boasted of job or financial success. No one had an “I am better than you” or “Look at me” attitude. Primarily, the discussions were directed toward other travel experiences or life experiences in general.
(Love) does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own,
I Corinthians 13:5a
Everyone was friendly. We were able to talk with anyone at anytime. When my husband and I would go to breakfast, we would be happy to share a table with two, four or six other people. There was one gentleman who was traveling alone and if two or three couples were together and this man came by, we always asked the hostess to add an extra seat at the table so he would not be alone. On the other hand, if a particular group of people wanted to be by themselves for some reason, their wish was respected as well.
(Love) is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
I Corinthians 13:5b
Although I am not aware of any specific instance, there were probably some words spoken or actions done occasionally by individuals that were inconsiderate of another person within our group. This happens because we are all human and we all make unintentional mistakes. If something of this nature happened, it was not evident to me. This makes me think that if a person was offended for some reason, he or she was not provoked to the point of making it known to the whole group. If someone was wronged, he or she must have been quick to forgive because I never heard any gossip about something of this nature.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
I Corinthians 13:13
I believe faith, hope and love abounded within our tour group. Before we left on our trip, I had prayed that the Lord would place us with the people He wanted us to spend significant time with during these ten days. As we left our hotel room the first evening to go to the welcome dinner, we noticed another couple coming down the hall from the opposite direction. Our first conversation with John and Margaret began in the elevator as we asked each other if they were part of the Canadian Rockies tour. Yes, we were! That was the beginning of a special friendship for the week, and we continue to be in touch today. While sharing one of many conversations over the next ten days, Marge and I found out that both of us had prayed for a special couple with whom to spend time. Our Christian faith was a common bond between the four of us. God’s love was evident.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
God created man in his own image; in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
Our trip consisted of natural wonders of God’s creation and people who were God’s creation. As well as there being a unique beauty in each geographical site we visited, there was a unique beauty in each person with whom we shared our adventures. I commented last week that I sensed each location of the Canadian Rockies we encountered revealed an aspect of God’s nature to me. This week I want to emphasize that each person with whom we shared the trip reflected particular aspects of the character of God as well. The Hand of God is in the midst of all creation. He reveals His character and nature through all He has created. In nature, God’s character is exhibited through an outward beauty while with people, His attributes are affirmed through their inward beauty. He places bits and pieces of Himself within all of His works whether it involves the formation of land and water or the personalities of men and women.
People are important to God. People are important to me. I want to experience God in everything and everyone who surrounds me. There are times when I get so busy that I do not take time to be aware of God’s presence. When I had the privilege of going on a vacation and getting away from the busyness of life, I sensed His nearness and beauty more acutely. Every mountain and lake we saw was diverse in shape and size and color. Each person we interacted with had a unique personality. No two people were alike whether by appearance or by personality. However, each and every thing and person originated with God. We are all made in His image. We all reflect His glory.
I take time today to ask myself if I will allow my eyes to see Christ in each and every person I encounter within the next eight to ten hours. I also take time to evaluate my actions and interactions to see if others see Christ in me. While pondering these questions, one line of a hymn keeps singing in my heart, “Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me!” This hymn was written by Rev. Tom Jones and the complete verse of it is as follows: “Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me. All His wonderful passion and purity. O Thou Spirit divine, all my nature refine till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.”
My Reader, how about you? Do you see Christ in others? Do others see Christ in you?