Friday, January 08, 2010


While reading the scripture lessons for today, the word influence popped into my head; not an actual word that I read rather one that just came - the word itself and lots of tangential thoughts. How do I influence others - others in regard to faith that is? Where, when, why, and how can I know if I do or don't?

I suspect the word had something to do with having just joined the bloggers at High Calling Blogs. In joining, I found that the premise of the site involves blogging about one's life wherever that might be or encompass - workplace, home, sporting event, reading, etc. In blogging about a favorite subject or pastime, I am encouraged to be aware of how and where God touches my life - with the site proclaiming that we are with God and representing God every moment of our lives - at home, in the workplace, online, wherever we are. In that vein, I wonder where am I influencing others or convincing others of God's presence in my life and in influencing them toward God's presence in their own lives?

Surely on a daily basis the first creatures I greet each day, or maybe I should say who greet me are my dogs - Sheltie Andy and Westie Riley. They greet me expecting attention, food and water. That attention I would characterize as a circle of love from me to them to me. They expect a warm greeting - they give and receive a warm greeting, neither fearful nor intimidated by my presence. They expect consistent behavior from me and that I'll receive and give back the joy they give to me.

Do I cultivate this same circle of caring and warmth with the next creature I meet - my sleepy-headed, non-verbal spouse? I hope so. I honor his need for silence in the first hour of waking and generally greet him with love, expecting that same love in return. He respects my a.m. needs as well and has willingly (well sort of) ceded the larger bathroom in our home to me as his gift of caring - honoring my desire for separate - not necessarily equal space.

Out the door and into the YMCA for a workout, am I pleasant when greeting the staff behind the desk, my fellow exercisers, the slooooow parkers in the parking lot? Clerks in the supermarket, fellow shoppers that take a long time in completing their transactions, or hurried customers behind me with one or two items, tellers at the bank? How do they know me - my manners, my facial expressions, my smile, my voice? My fellow citizens, neighbors, church goers? I influence all of these encounters in some way - whether I recognize that influence or not. Do they recognize my faith, my God, my being - do I influence them positively or negatively? Do I want them to know God through me? Would I be pleased if they thought I was God's representative or would they be surprised? Influence - rich, poor, male, female, boss, employee, pew partners, treadmill trompers - we all impact one another in some way. It's a huge arena for influence, for evangelism of one's faith and daily life with God.

Do you think of your influence on others in a similar fashion? Have you encountered a holy rep this morning, this day, this week - have you been one? I'd love to hear where you think your influence might have been felt, even if only a little bit.


  1. I'm glad you've joined HCB. I've met some amazing people there. (And today, for the first time, I contributed a piece there that went out under my name. I enjoyed doing it.)

    Great questions you ask.

    Like you, my very first "holy rep" is Jack, our youngest Westie, soon followed by Seamus the Elder. Two Westies give an awful lot of love. And my husband always leave a kiss goodbye, even if I'm not yet awake.

    The other day someone commented that I seem to find and write about powerful stories of hope. The comment took me aback a little bit; I'm still thinking on it, because I haven't always had hope, or faith, yet now the two seem utterly essential to me.

    I keep the "Muse" going at OurCancer because it's a way to give back to everyone there who's influenced me in ways God would recognize as good or desirable.

    I hope others respond to your questions. I want to come back and read their answers.

  2. i hope you never get tired of hearing, "i was thinking about this very topic over the last few days." i wish i had more hours to ponder and produce the written word, but alas, part of me is out in the world being an ambassador (at least i hope so!)

    i am quite aware of others (& my own) countenance. i was shocked (sort of) when i was in a parking lot today in the pouring rain and cars just drove in front of me while i stood there getting soaked. it's a curious state to me and i hope i didn't do the same to someone else!

    this comment could easily turn into a post and i believe it will in the next day or two. one of the major prompts came in my celtic spirituality class as the professor commented that most of Western culture separates their spirituality from their secular lives. i nearly gasped "NO! that's wrong! Not me!" out loud.

    i am intrigued by high calling blogs, because their manifesto sounds like what i'm talking about (or at least thinking about).

    give those puppy dogs a good rub from auntie lu!! xoxoxo

  3. Before I read this post yesterday, the word of the day for me was "confluence."

    I like to think about the roots of words and how the meaning changes with prefixes. Now you've given me something to chew on.

    Concerning my influence, what disturbs me is how I can go from having a wonderful and inspiring influence on one person to unintentionally pushing another away, all in the same hour.

  4. Maureen - thanks so much for your comments. I didn't realize that you were a two Westie family - wow, what great dogs. We're crazy about our Riley! (Andy is a great dog too but the temperament of the Westie really can't be beat:) I'll have to check out your post at HCB. Tx for letting me know about it.

  5. Auntie Lu - Even though we "budget" our time - doesn't seem to be enough for reading, writing, creative good stuff but being out in the world is a part of our lives as well. Oh yeah, spirituality, Christianity separation of church and real daily living - I see it all the time. It brings the ol' "what are they thinking" concept right up to the front of my mind!You might have noticed the synchronicity of CP and MSieve on this post - I was so surprised to read his post after I had written mine.


  6. Pollinatrix - I call it the "parking lot syndrome" where Satan is always lurking.....meaning all good intentions inside the church building and about the time we reach the parking lot we've said something stupid!!! Oh well, just pick ourselves up and try again:) Tx for being here.