Do You Know Me?

I’d never seen them before.

So why did they look so familiar?

Do you ever do that? Meet someone new, but feel like you already know them?

Jamie or Fran?

Two weeks ago in Wauchula, Florida, after Hurricane Irma came through, we met Jamie. She’s young, but she’s fierce. She’s taking care of Hardee County, FL. She’s tending to broken houses and hurting families and hungry bodies. She runs Send Me Missions. She lives out Jesus locally and internationally.

When Jamie took our PAR (Prepare and Respond) group to the Hardee Help Center, another organization she heads up, I knew how I knew her. She’s the Fran of Hardee County. Fran, who I’ve known for years, takes care of Madison County, AL, where I live. She runs Manna House and so much more, showing people the love of Christ. Just like Jamie is doing where she lives.


Hank and Jamie

Stranger or Mama?

Another stranger I met in Florida was an older lady, whose name I’ve already forgotten. Our guys were putting a tarp on her trailer that had significant flood damage after the hurricane. She and her husband are snowbirds from South Carolina. They had come down to assess the damage. It was immense.

After talking with her a few minutes, I saw my mama again. When I asked this lady what town she was from, she couldn’t remember. She’d go ask her husband. When I asked her when she was going back to South Carolina, she couldn’t remember that either.

But she was so sweet. So in love with her family. So dependent upon her husband. Just like my mom had been, too, before she died with Alzheimer’s.

Hank or Jeff?

A third stranger, now also a friend, is Hank. A local, he took off work from his own job to help us out-of-towners respond to hurricane damage in his town. I loved watching him interact with people. He listened with his eyes and with all of his heart. He answered questions with truth but with compassion.

When I asked him what his wife was like, he said she was a piece of heaven. Not that I am that myself, but that is the kind of answer my sweet husband Jeff might also give. Hank reminded me of Jeff, full of energy, a love for people, and a passion to help.


Making Hank an honorary PAR member

All in the Family

Why did these three people seem so familiar?

You might say because they reminded me of people in my own life.

But the larger reason? Because they each remind me of God. They all bear his image. They are my brothers and sisters.

When you sense a spark of recognition in someone new you meet this week, see if it is God you’re meeting anew.

He plants himself in each of us, in unique ways, in delightful surprises.

We are all family here.

* * *

Have you met someone new, but felt you already knew them? Please share in the comments.


34 thoughts on “Do You Know Me?

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m glad we are family, Jodie. God gave you extra measures of the gift of creating beauty. It’s nice to have such a fashion barista in the family (just don’t come look in my closet or you might disown me! ha).

      1. jodie filogomo

        As much as I love clothing, I love the inside of people so much more!! And I totally know you were joking, but I’d never disown anyone for their outside appearance. I only want to inspire other women to look as good on the outside, because they are so wonderful on the inside. You know—so the inside and outside match!!

  1. Jerralea

    I love this post, Lisa! I’m always seeing something of someone I know when I meet someone new. My husband always says he can’t see it. Maybe what I’m really seeing is Him!

    Love this challenge: “When you sense a spark of recognition in someone new you meet this week, see if it is God you’re meeting anew.” I’m going to be looking!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Good extension of this thought, Michele. It reminds me of Matthew 25: “38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”
      I’m so glad God’s economy works this way. It makes is so practical for us to love God through loving others. And to be loved by God by receiving love from others.

  2. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Thanks so much for sharing this, Lisa. The brightness of God’s living hands and hert is truly something to behold.

    Doesn’t really happen to me with people, but I think that stray dogs know me, somehow. They will come up, shy but confident that they will be loved, and I can pick them up like puppies, belly-up, whereupon they will lean their heads against my chest and close their eyes. Kind of awkward with a bullmastiff, but I still have some strength in my arms.

    What’s odd is that people do NOT find me inviting. Barb once told me I should smile more, and when I smiled, she said, “Cancel that. It just makes you scarier.”

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I think a lot of people would say the image of God can be also seen in dogs. I’m guessing you would agree with that. Either way, I’m sure you have shown the love of God to your animals over and over and over again. Bless you for that, Andrew.

  3. Karen Friday

    Lisa, this is beautiful and powerful. Love Hank’s response about his wife. Oh, that it would be said of each of us as Christ-followers. These are all people showcasing Jesus with skin…and hands…and feet. 🙂

  4. Barbie

    Thank you for serving others in their time of need. I’ve met people before and it feels like we’ve been friends for years. We are all a part of God’s family — we just haven’t met everyone yet!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, so that’s another aspect of heaven we can look forward to—finally getting to meet face to face with those we’ve “known” but haven’t yet had opportunity to meet.

  5. Mary Geisen

    I love your heart for serving others and how you took the time to meet people exactly where they need you. I have met people who remind me of my mom or dad and as my heart aches because I miss them, it also feels joy that they are still present with me. God’s presence through other people reminds us that He is everywhere. When we reach out to seeing Him in others we show others through our actions how real He is.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I know that bittersweet feeling too, Mary. I saw someone a weekend ago that had my dad’s eyes, and it made me miss him all the more, even though I was glad of the reminder. We people are complicated creatures. 🙂 So thankful for all the variety around us!

  6. Lesley

    I love the thought that when we feel like we recognise someone we’ve only just met it could be because we’re recognising God in them. I guess as Christians, we are brothers and sisters even if we haven’t met one another so there often is that feeling of family.

  7. Alice Walters

    I love this, Lisa! You are so good at finding Jesus in others, and in the hard places! I was so happy to see your beautifully smiling face next to mine at Anita’s . Surely you must bring joy wherever you go! Prayers and blessings:)

  8. Linda Stoll

    Ah, your borders have been enlarged, and we who gather ’round you are gleaning the blessings. Thanks for sharing your adventures, your relationships, your learnings.

    I hope this day brings you strength, grace, and joy!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Isn’t it amazing how God continually enlarges our borders, whether or not we intend for it to happen? I love that you brought up that phrase, Linda. What a beautiful way to envision our experiences. You have brought me strength, grace, and joy yourself.

  9. floyd

    Wow. What an honor to be recognized by He lives within in us and is manifesting Himself through the actions of our bodies.

    That’s something to strive for. I’ll bet they felt the same about you and your group too.

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