Sometimes the simplest gestures are the most powerful. One of my students named Connor recently demonstrated this, as he shared how he’s been reaching out to the people in his dorm.
Connor is a freshman, and towards the end of last semester, he was looking for winsome ways to share his faith with the people walking by his door every day. So he took a simple step and put a piece of paper on his door, inviting people to write down any prayer requests they might have. He invited them to stop in, and he also left his phone number.
That piece of paper filled up, and then it became 2, 3, and 4 pieces of paper. Some prayer requests were inane, but most were deeply personal. You can read them below, but you’ll see people asking for prayer amidst the deaths of loved ones, stress about finals, and prayers for Joe Pa. You’ll also read statements like “I have a drug problem” and “I wish I could be closer to the Lord again. I need to strengthen my faith,” as well as Connor’s response.
A few lessons that Connor–and our group–are taking away from this:
1) Create Spaces for Honesty. Students–and people in general–are more honest when they are able to be anonymous, which the gravity of many of these statements reveals. There’s an awful lot of hurt and pain walking by our doors every day that we don’t see. By giving them a forum to give voice to that, we can offer hope and healing. The many positive statements show how much people appreciated it.
2) Become Known for Love. Connor found a way to become known not only as a Christian, but as one who cares about the welfare of his fellow students. Many of these anonymous statements became known in relationship. Why? Because Connor loves his neighbors. What better way to make your Christian identity known to others than by announcing it through loving actions?
3) Simple Yet Powerful. This gesture took 30 seconds, but it has led to numerous opportunities for Connor to love his neighbors and share the Gospel. Sometimes we think sharing the Gospel takes tons of prep work, or has to be extremely thoughtful. But often, the simplest gestures can be the most powerful.
What simple-yet-powerful gesture can you make today?