When We Put on Christ, We Become God’s Messenger
Walking through life with a smile on our face and a song in our heart is the best way to keep our mind and heart in a good place. Life has many turns and trials, but when we keep centered on all the good that is in our life, the trials are short lived.
Smiles are contagious. Ever notice how a room brightens up when someone walks in who is always smiling, always happy, always extending a warm greeting to others? What better gift can we give another than a sincere smile?
|When we make a concerted effort to be centered in Christ, we allow the love of Christ to be seen and experienced by others.
I remember finding a young man sitting on a log, deep on the trail above Multnomah Falls on the Columbia River of Oregon, many years ago. I’d hiked up the switchback trail to the primordial forest. As a young man, I’d frequently run that trial, finding the peace and solitude I so craved.
About four miles from the top, I was somewhat surprised to find another person sitting alone on a log. Since there had been only one other car parked at the lodge, I did not expect to see anyone. As he was deep in thought, I apologized for startling him. Sensing something was wrong, I commented on the beauty of God’s creation and asked if he’d like to share a sandwich and some coffee. He surprised me with his question, asking if I was an angel.
Sitting down on the log next to him, I opened my backpack and offered him half of my lunch. A few moments had passed when he turned to me, showed me a revolver, and told me he’d come to this remote spot with the intent of killing himself. When he saw me appear with a long white beard and hair, and dressed in my long black robe, he had first thought I might be an angel sent by God.
He’d been praying that God would forgive him for what he was about to do. I assured him that I was indeed flesh and blood, and certainly no angel. But I also told him that I was sent by God with a message. The message from God was that he was loved, and that God had a plan for his life, and this period of despair would soon pass.
He handed me his revolver. I emptied the gun of the bullets, and placed it in my backpack, and we had a long conversation about his life. Eventually we walked together back to our vehicles. With the promise that he would return the revolver to his father and let him know he’d intended kill himself until the encounter with a monk, I handed him the gun, and we parted ways.
I’ve long wondered about the direction his life must have taken after that encounter in the forest so very many years ago. I’ve also wondered what would have happened if I’d continued on that trail without stopping to greet him, without offering a smile and a shared sandwich.
To this day I feel blessed that God allowed me to be His messenger on that lonely trail, and I try to be available each and every day as His messenger. When we make a concerted effort to be centered in Christ, each and every day, each and every hour, we make way for a heart and mind that is always in a good place, and we allow the love of Christ to be seen and experienced by others. When we put aside ourselves and put on Christ, we become God’s messengers.
With love in Christ, Abbot Tryphon
All-Merciful Saviour Monastery
Vashon Island, Washington