LOVE OPENLY

LOVE OPENLY
By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

Nina wears the composite of a hard life on her face;
lines are forged heavily into her Native American skin, a long-time smoker's mouth displays stained teeth and creases of "draw and release" are etched notably into her aged and wine-colored lips.
Nina's attraction to me is so openly apparent that my husband assumes we're on familiar terms and have met before.
We haven't.
Our entire "sit down experience" is attended with extended kindnesses, complimentary words, and more than dutiful expressions.
This is not a one time, but an "all-the-time," thing with me, dear reader.
Ask my husband who declares me to be a "yes" face in a sea of "no" faces forever and continually. Ask my husband how often I'm singled out with favor by clerks, waitresses, passer-by's, and complete strangers for no apparent reason.
I'm appreciative of this curious reality attending and have learned it to be the "draw of God," a special gift tied to sacred responsibilities and overflowing with possibilities.
And I finally see them.
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Today, I'll be making contact with Nina, who joyfully recorded her name and number on a soiled napkin at my request upon our departure.
The invitation will be simple, genuine, and short:
"Come to my house, Nina, for a visit and we'll share coffee together."
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The occasions I once deemed as "leave behind" pleasantries, I now view as "go before" possibilities.

 My life has changed as a result.
I'm not looking to ply my new friend with neatly packaged conversion tips or salvation quips.
I'm looking to love and I'm going to lean in to listen ...
and God will take it from there.
Whether Nina accepts my invitation or not I find myself one individual closer to experiencing the love, grace, and mercy of my God.
Of Him I can't say enough or do enough.
It's such a beautiful simple thing to openly love, to invite the stranger in and know more of Him.
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Pay attention to the little things that attend you, that lead people to you, and then respond in a concrete, tangible manner to who God's placed before you.
Utilize your opportunities and see the possibilities being presented.
Love openly ...