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Who do you want me to notice?

Cuba Mall, Wellington

A few weeks ago, I was reminded of what it means for Jesus to live in our lives today. I was walking along Lambton Quay, praying, ‘God, there are so many people, a sea of faces. What do you see here? Who do you want me to notice?’

I’d already seen about six different guys sitting on the side of the path. Some were asking for money, some were just sitting there watching people go by. But one in particular caught my attention, so I went over, said hello and asked if I could sit next to him for a few minutes.

He welcomed me and we exchanged names. I asked him in Māori, then in English where his name came from. He then turned to me and began to kōrero Māori, shyly at first. We had the most incredible conversation, all in Te Reo, for the next 15 minutes. Near the end, his eyes filled with tears as he thanked me for stopping and allowing him to speak his beloved language for the first time in a long time. He prayed a blessing on me as we went our separate ways: Mā te Atua koe, e manaaki, e tiaki I ngā wā katoa—May God bless you and take care of you always.

As I headed up Cuba Mall, past those famous buckets, I saw a Māori guy, hoody up in the cold, slightly rainy weather. I felt drawn to talk to him, but thought, ‘No, don’t be silly. Just keep walking!’ That feeling kept bothering me, so in a split second I crossed the mall to sit beside him on a bench. Straight away he said, ‘I know you! I met you last year up in Auckland.’

I was blown away when I realised who he was under that hoody, and we ended up talking for a good half hour. He was visiting Wellington for a couple days and I was down from Auckland for a couple days … and here we were, randomly meeting on a park bench in Cuba Mall.

He talked about the significant struggles he was facing around decisions that would have a real influence on hundreds of people all around the country. I knew straight away that my part was simply to encourage him and remind him of what was at stake. The stories, the words, the examples all came flooding into my mind—and I knew the Spirit of Jesus, Wairua Tapu, was there with us.

Right place, right time, right people.

Every single day I’m asking God to breathe the life of Jesus into my life. I’m not clever enough to work out the logistics of putting myself in the right place every day, but I’m so keen to trust the One who knows the needs of every one of his children.

by Hana Seddon (c) 'War Cry' magazine, 8 April 2017, pp3

You can read 'War Cry' at your nearest Salvation Army church or centre, or subscribe through Salvationist Resources.