Maria Walker had a talk with God one morning.
“Lord, I can’t afford rent, my marriage is a mess, and I’m beyond discouraged,” she prayed. “If You’re real, if You really love me, I need You to show me.”
That day, at her waitressing job, Maria found herself more down than usual. Would God speak to her? What would be different? A few hours into her shift, she served a kind couple. They actually looked at her, and their smiles seemed sincere. And when they paid their $36.71 check, they gave Maria something that stopped her in her tracks.
A $100 tip and a “You Were Seen” card.
Tears filled Maria’s eyes as she found a private place to process what had just happened. Then she pulled out her phone and went to the YouWereSeen.com website listed on the card and clicked on a link that said it would show her how there might be more to life. That link took her to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s PeaceWithGod.net website and the plan of salvation. And right there in the back hallway of that restaurant, Maria gave her life to Jesus.
Like Maria, our entire nation needs Jesus. We need His justice and His forgiveness, His mercy and His healing. We need His leading so we can be instruments of peace. We need His love and protection.
If you’re like me, you’re asking, What can I do? How can I make a difference? Most of all, how can I love in the midst of so much hate?
Jesus gave us His answer. In Matthew 28:16-20, He told us to go and make disciples. But between the pandemic, the murder of George Floyd and the ensuing riots, how are we supposed to fulfill that calling?
I also have an answer—the new You Were Seen movement.
The movement centers around a 10-pack of You Were Seen cards. Each one represents a moment of gratitude and generosity with a stranger; a chance to make a difference in your world every day. Each You Were Seen card represents a soul.
It works like this: You get your pack of You Were Seen cards at YouWereSeen.com, and you carry them with you. Then you ask God to help you really see people as you go about your day. And then when you see them, be kind. Grateful. Generous.
Who gets a You Were Seen card? The cashier and food server, the police officer and delivery person, the hair stylist and postal worker, the doctor and medical tech. Anyone who helps you or serves you throughout the day. See them. Really see them. Then pull out a You Were Seen card and a generous tip (where appropriate).
The next part comes from your heart. Simply look into the eyes of the person serving or helping you and thank them. Tell them they were seen. Tell them they matter and that what they do is important to you. Then hand them the You Were Seen card and the generous tip.
The You Were Seen card has room on the back to write a message: “Thank you.” “I appreciate you.” “God bless you.” Or “You matter!” Maybe jot down an invitation to your church. Or leave it blank.
If they visit YouWereSeen.com, like Maria did, they will see a very important message for our times: You were seen today because of your hard work. But—even better—you are seen by God every day.
They, too, can follow the link on the site to PeaceWithGod.net, where they can learn about God’s plan for salvation, chat with someone and find links to other BGEA resources. PeaceWithGod.net leads them to think, maybe for the first time, about eternity. It helps people feel loved and validated, appreciated and hopeful.
It lets them be seen.
This is one way we can live out our calling as Christians in these fearful, divisive and uncertain times. As cities and states try to open up, make a point to carry a pack of You Were Seen cards and truly see the people God puts in your path: People who need gratitude and recognition. People who would be moved by a generous tip, a tip of at least 20% or maybe more.
The world will know we are Christians by our love, right? That’s what Jesus taught. So let’s get out there and love well. Let’s be thankful and generous—one person at a time, one You Were Seen card at a time.
My family and I started this movement as a non-denominational way to show the world Jesus. To be more thankful. More generous. And to make a difference. We don’t have to go to another country to share the hope and love of our Savior. We don’t need training as an evangelist. Our calling isn’t to a mission trip, but to a life lived on mission.
And this way is simple.
Check out the website and imagine someone finding hope just when they need it most. You can also read stories from people using or receiving the You Were Seen cards.
Churches and ministries are also joining the You Were Seen movement. I hope you’ll join my family as we embark on the You Were Seen movement—a movement we believe will change lives and hearts and, yes, even our nation. For the good. For God.
For eternity. ©2020 Karen Kingsbury
Karen Kingsbury is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, with a heart for evangelism. Her books are the basis for “The Baxters,” an upcoming tv show based on her Redemption Series books. Karen lives in Tennessee with her husband, Donald, near several of their children and grandchildren. To find out more about Karen, visit KarenKingsbury.com.