One cold, wintry Saturday afternoon, WE-TV ran a marathon of The Locator with Troy Dunn. I love marathons, especially when I can turn the fireplace on, wrap myself in a blanket, drink a hot cup of cappuccino, and indulge in a multiple dose of a new show to discover what the program is all about. The premise of the show immediately drew me in:
In 1990, Troy helped his own mother (who was adopted as a baby) locate her own biological family. That single event inspired Troy and his then-partner to build an organization that did one thing: help people reunite with long lost friends and family members.
I loved the episodes, one after another. There were tears of joy and sorrow as people were reunited, working through feelings of fear, brokenheartedness, hopelessness, pain, and rejection. As they found joy in being reconciled, I shouted out, “I want to do that!”
After my exuberant proclamation, the Lord reminded me that as a Christian, it is the heart of my calling. Sharing Christ with others and drawing them into a relationship with God is my role in redemption. 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 states:
Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
The Dictionary’s definition of reconcile states:
- To make (oneself or another) no longer opposed.
- To become friendly with (someone) after an estrangement.
So maybe my shout out was coming from a deeper place than just over-enthusiasm of a newly found show? Perhaps, this desire had been placed deep within me by a loving Father, seeking to find those who are lost, and had just been stirred-up by seeing it lived out on TV?
Most of the episodes had heart-warming endings, with families being reunited. But unfortunately, like real-life, not every episode of The Locator had a happy ending.
Some of those sought out, didn’t want to be found. I’m guessing years of shame, sorrow, and bitterness left their hearts cold, numb, and unforgiving of life’s circumstances. Some had hidden their past from their present friends and family. My speculation is their reactions formed from self-made protective barriers constructed in an attempt to prevent further disappointment in life.
Viewing the show from the perspective of those searching to find lost loved ones, I was also given a glimpse into the depth of emotion those who have felt abandoned, alone, and have suffered years of not knowing the real circumstances in their situations experienced. Imaginations, misconceptions, and often misinformation, had convinced them they were either unworthy to love, or had committed the unforgivable.
It made me think of those who reject Christ. Perhaps some believe that because of things they’ve done in the past or life’s circumstances they have been rejected by God. And without my entreating them — being a representative who brings the good news (like Troy does on the show) — they may believe God doesn’t love or want them; that their actions have caused Him to turn away from them … forever.
A quote The Locater uses is, “You can’t have peace, until you find all the pieces.” Hearing it turned my thoughts back to reconciliation with God and a revised quote, “You can’t have peace, until you know the Prince of Peace.”
God has given me a ministry to facilitate spiritually what The Locator does in the natural. Here are some practical everyday ways I’ve found to be an “ambassador” for Christ:
- Be genuinely nice to everyone. It’s amazing how just being nice can touch a person’s heart, offering a kind word, a friendly smile, even if only in passing.
- Let God’s generosity flow through me, when nudged to give something away or pay for something, I try not to resist.
- When a complimentary thought comes to mind even in passing — a great smile, beautiful hair — whether at work, the store, shopping, speak it out and tell them.
- Forgive and pray for those who may ignore, snub or hurt me, whether their offense is on purpose or in ignorance. And choose to refuse to be offended.
- Appoint myself as a peacemaker offering words that calm, comfort, and diffuse when found in precarious situations.
- Assist total strangers if necessary, when seeing situations where I can lend a hand. Help a mom corral a child in a public setting, offer a napkin or Kleenex when needed, open a door, extend a hand, help to pick up dropped items … it’s pretty simple.
- Make sure to tell people that God loves them and is seeking after them.
My seemingly indulgent viewing of a marathon led me to embrace something I had taken for granted: God has called me to be His locator; to let people know He has not abandoned them because of their sin. How exciting!
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Ashleigh Slater, Founder & Managing Editor
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