Yesterday a reader wrote to ask, “John, would you comment on something I heard last night at church — that is, on the very real possibility that God uses people to deliver messages? The idea is that the delivery is usually made by someone who has no clue what the message means, to someone who is desperate for the message.”
Well, since you asked [hi, Dan!], I do think God uses people to deliver his messages. I think that’s the whole point of people. I think every person in the world is a walking, talking, mobilized broadcast tower for station WGOD, comin at ya, live and fulla jive, always burnin if the world is turnin. How else does God communicate with us, but through people? Through weather? Through animals, those adorable teases who always act like they’re going to talk to us? Through hieroglyphics that magically appear on elevator walls? Sure, that would considerably liven up elevator rides—but no. That’s not how it works. When God wants to say something to us, he says it through the people in our lives.
And God, being God, always has something to say. To everyone. Through everyone. All the time. It never stops. God is never done communicating with any of us. The one message he never sends to any of us is “Oh, cool. You’ve got it all now. You’ve learned everything there is to know about my nature, will, processes, and ultimate purpose. Sweet! God out.”
Nah. God’s broadcasting to us, 24/7. And the medium of his ongoing message to us? That would be every single person whose path ever crosses our own.
Our job is to remember that, to make sure we focus in on and hear the message we can be sure God is sending us whenever we engage another person.
And what message is that sure to be? What message is everyone always sending everyone else?
Love me. That’s what we’re all broadcasting to the world, every moment of our lives. Love me, love me, love, love me do.
And when God as Jesus was talking directly to us, what did he explicitly name as the supreme law, as the greatest of all his commandments?
That we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
Everyone, no matter who they are, or what other kinds of messages they seem to be bearing, is in fact delivering to us the exact same message from God: Love me, as God loves you.
All we have to do is listen.