By Pastor Ryan Stockstrom

Harvest Fellowship Church

Call it nostalgia, but the other day I was pondering how being in a small town often reflects aspects of God. Take for instance, when you live in a small town; you get to know people, and people get to know you. This can be good and bad, but for the most part I’ve found it good.

There’s something to being in a place where, like the sitcom ‘Cheers’ said, everyone knows your name. Whether it’s bumping into someone at the local grocer, the gas station, or the bank; eventually, you begin to recognize them. You might then have a conversation and hear about their role in the community. There’s a good chance, if you take the time to listen, you’ll learn something from them or their life.

There’s something about these regular faces that reminds me of the closeness and faithfulness of God. Just as you can faithfully expect to see these people around the community, you can also expect that God is also nearby. You can learn something about the personhood of God. As you recognize the image of God within these regular faces, you can then see various aspects of the God who made them. And while we encounter difficulties, and often enough difficult people, it reminds me that God has a lot of patience for me as well.

So my encouragement this week is this: the next time you bump into so and so…instead of quickly walking away to complete your daily routine, consider thinking about the God who made them, the image of God they reflect, and then maybe take the opportunity to get to know them a little more. You never know what you might learn. You may just learn something about the goodness, faithfulness, and closeness of God.

What reflections of God do you see in our small community? His Kindness? His generosity? Love? Look around; I believe you’ll find them.