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I am always pleased and amazed when people from my past recognize me and speak to me in public places. We were having lunch in a nearby restaurant, after church on Sunday, when a man came up and called me by name. I was stumped and had to ask him to identify himself. As it turns out, I had ministered to him and his family in several ways, including officiating at his wedding and conducting his wife’s funeral.

It always surprises me that people from my past find me readily recognizable. I know that there are certain characteristics that have not changed in me over the years. There is the distinctive feature of my lack of hair. And even though my weight has gone up and down, and up and down, my round face has pretty much remained the same. However, this man has had no contact with me for many, many years. And still, he was able to recognize me and call me by name!

It is a reminder that we never really know the full impact that we have on the lives of other people. This man could have easily seen me, recognized me, and walked on by without saying a word. Yet, he chose to speak to me and remind me of the times we shared and the precious woman that we had in common. There is certainly a bond that is formed between pastors and their people, through the ministry of sharing in the joys of a wedding and the sorrows of a funeral.

People tend to remember those who were there for them in the special times of their lives, both times of celebration and times of suffering. It is not so much what you say to a person that they recall and reflect upon, but that you were present with them. We should never underestimate the power of our presence. Jesus taught that when we minister to others in the difficult times of life, we are doing it as unto Him (Matthew 25:40).

Serving in love, Bro. Jim


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