Lately I’ve been traveling a lot more with my husband. I’m not much of a traveler, but I do enjoy meeting new people, encouraging people, seeing what the body of Christ looks like somewhere else... things like that. I’ve noticed that when I travel my senses are more acute - I’m more aware of my surroundings and more sensitive to things I can learn. First of all because of all the traveling I’ve gotten in the habit of intentionally looking for ways that God is speaking to me.
Some trips I don’t get anything worth writing about - other trips I am inspired. It doesn’t have to be anything mind shattering, just enough to get me thinking. On one trip I read a sign that I’d seen countless times before but that day I saw it in a new way.
You probably have seen it - it goes like this, “If you see something, say something”. I had seen it many times before and later learned that it is a national campaign by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. This slogan raises public awareness on suspicious activities or behaviors that may suggest acts of terrorism.
The purpose is to encourage people to speak up when they see that something doesn’t look right.
But on this day I read this well-known slogan and thought what if we were to catch people doing something good? And what if we were to say something about it? What if every time we caught our children saying, “thank you” or sharing their toys - we would let our children know we saw them doing it and that we were pleased? Imagine saying to your friend, “hey I just saw what you did and that was inspiring!” Or to your boss, “I just saw you really listening to employee’s list of complaints and that was very kind of you, I appreciate how patient you are”. Or what if we would see our husbands picking up the trash in front of the house and you would say, “I appreciate you, I saw what you did and I’m so blessed to have you in my life.”
Now, the reason we are to “say something” in an airport is to avoid a possible terrorist attack, to hinder some tragic event and even save peoples lives. I see the same thing happening here. Saying something, speaking life, sharing words of encouragement or even a word of warning is a powerful deterrent. It could save someone from negative, debilitating thoughts. It could help someone rise above their insecurities, help them see themselves with a different set of lenses and help create a new perspective. Saying something could also keep someone from making a serious misstep in their life. The Bible even suggests that saying something will save someone from a hard heart and keep others from being lured into sin.
Speak to each other about these things every day while there is still time so that none of you will become hardened against God, being blinded by the glamour of sin. Hebrews 3:13 Living Bible (TLB)
Saying something when you see it - is a matter of life and death. Leaving things unsaid is a wasted opportunity. So the next time you see something, make sure you say what it is in your heart to say and make the most of every opportunity.
Pastor Elizabeth leads Radiant Women's Ministry. She and her husband, Wilfredo De Jesus, are the senior pastors of New Life Covenant Church in Chicago, Illinois.