Who Are You Reflecting?
by Robin Swoboda-Wagner

Lucy has struck again! Let me explain that. First of all, things happen to me that just don't happen to "normal" people, at least that is what my husband and those closest to me say. However, I just see the events as normal, every day life. Let me give you an example.

We have two dogs, both of which happen to be herding breeds. One is a 2-year old Bearded Collie named Ruby. The other is an 8-month old Australian Shepard named Champ. Both dogs love to herd the children when they're out in the yard and when they're not, any car which happens to come up our drive will do nicely as well. Champ is the biggest offender and seems to think the bigger the vehicle, the louder he must bark.

Several days ago I was coming down from our upstairs when I heard his maniacal barking. I opened the front door, spotted him herding a truck toward the house and began to yell for him to stop. I admit I can get a little crazy when yelling at the dogs to be quiet. In fact they could probably remake "Old Yeller" and give me the title role. Well, Champ's not quieting down or giving up his job of herding that truck so I feel compelled to begin waving my arms while yelling even louder. We have a circular drive which comes right passed our front door and this truck is now heading right for me. He takes the turn, looks straight at me and as our eyes meet, his seem to bulge right out of his head. At that moment he guns it, picking up speed as he completes the circle and returns to the straightaway. It is at that moment that I realize what he has seen. Me?wearing green army fatigues, a t-shirt with a huge American flag on it, my hair pulled off my face with my 7-year old daughter's headband so it's sticking out in every direction and?.are you ready???.a clay mask that I had put on just minutes earlier for that creamy, smooth complexion that we women in our 40's try so desperately for. I thought I would just run out, flag him down and we'd have a good laugh about the whole thing but the faster I ran and waved my arms, the faster he drove. In fact, he drove so fast Champ couldn't even keep up. I may never know who that man was or what he wanted. He will never know that I'm just a housewife who was getting ready to do housework and wanted the complexion of a 20 year old.

Now, do you think I'm Lucy, Jr.? I don't. I do think that appearances are important and the old saying is true. You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

I was recently in a Christian bookstore and the two people working there never said hello. They never acknowledged my presence nor did they offer to help me when it was obvious that I was looking for something. How sad, I thought. What if I wasn't a believer and had stumbled into that bookstore by accident. They would have missed a great opportunity to witness the love and kindness of Christ.

Do your actions show others that you are a follower of Christ? When you take a good long look in the mirror who do you see? Is it the face of a bitter, angry, resentful person who never smiles or has a good word to say about any one? Or does your face show softness, kindness and the glow that comes from Christ within you and makes you a person who always has a kind word for others? Be honest with yourself because God already knows. Which one are you? Which one do you want to be?

"Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited." Romans 12:11-16

I'm going to put it in my language folks. BE NICE to people. STAND OUT from the crowd. Go the EXTRA mile to hold the door open for someone, be the first to say a warm "HELLO" to a person walking by you. Don't complain. SMILE! If the person in the check out line is short 37 cents, GIVE them 37 cents. If a cashier gives you too much money, give it back and tell them no, you're not that honest but Jesus lives in your heart and makes you better than you were before Him.

It won't be long before people notice there is something different about you, something good. I'll tell everyone who will listen how Jesus Christ changed my life. He took me off the trash heap of life and made me a new person. If I acted like a jerk would people listen to me? I think not.

Take a good, long look in the mirror. Who do people see when they look at you