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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


Daily Boost

July 22, 2011 - You’re Being Watched

By Bob Caldwell

I arrived with my wife and at my 20th high school reunion in good spirits. I was going to be able to reconnect, if only for a night, with people I had not seen since the last reunion for some or even since high school in the case of others.

When a former cheerleader gave me my name badge, she remarked, “We are all so proud of you, Bob. A minister. Wow.” Then I remembered The List. Many reunion committees hire a service to send out letters to everyone’s last known address. In this letter is a list of those who have been found and a list of those they have not. I appeared on it twice.

A few months earlier I had a chance encounter with another former cheerleader in a toy store. After chatting with her and her husband, I found out she was part of the reunion committee. I gave her my church business card to be added to the list and went on my way.

When my list arrived in the mail, as I said, I was on it twice. Under the found was “Rev. Bob Caldwell,” which is how my card read in those days. On the missing list was “Robert E. Caldwell.” Since I was a hippie atheist through most of high school, someone must have looked at the names and thought, “Can’t be the same guy.”

So I spent much of the evening confirming for many people that I was indeed a Christian minister. Most were pleased to hear that even with a few jokes about how unlikely it was.

Unknown to me, however, someone was watching with more than casual interest.

Jason (not his real name) was a casual acquaintance in school. I don’t remember if we had classes together, but we were on the track team. We did not travel in the same circles and I could tell you nothing about him from those days other than his name.

Jason had been a Christian as an adult, but at the time of the reunion, he was, by his own admission later, backslidden. Like others, he was surprised to see “Rev. Bob Caldwell” on the found list. In his spiritual state, he wondered what kind of a Christian I had become. I think he was hoping that I was a phony so he could justify his condition.

So he watched me that night. He watched as I drank one Diet Coke after another and moved about the room chatting with old friends. He listened in to hear that my conversations were pleasant and free of filthy language. He observed as I didn’t flirt with any of the women, but instead clung to my wife.

And he was convicted. My simple, non-preachy manner that evening cut to his soul. “He’s not a phony,” he thought. “There are real Christians in this world.”

Later he left the reunion, returned to his home a thousand miles away, and rededicated his life to Christ. He returned to the church from which he had fallen away and began working with the youth group. After a short time he was leading that group.

Six months later he called and told me the story that I just related to you. After I hung up the phone, I sat and stared at it for a while.

This story is not about me; I was just doing what I did every day. But what if I had decided to “loosen up” for one night? These people would never see me again. What would be the harm? Well, there was one man and his family who might not have found their way back to Jesus. There is a youth group who would not have received the ministry that he had to offer. Lives could have been impacted for the worse if I had decided that no one was watching.

But someone was watching, and my life made a difference. Who might be watching you today?

— Bob Caldwell is a freelance writer and educator living in Springfield, Mo.




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