A Brush with Death

london-1018629_640A brush with death creates fear.

A brush with celebrity create exhilaration.

A brush with greatness leads to inspiration.

What is the result of a brush with you?


Have you ever brushed up against a wall of wet paint?

A glittery store display?

A furry white dog?

A tinseled tree?

When you walk away, the brush leaves remains.

What remains when people brush up against you?


A woman meets God at her local watering hole.

Her brush with deity leaves her convinced He’s the Messiah.

She can’t keep it to herself and many Samaritans come to salvation.

When you meet someone at the local watering hole, what do they walk away saying?

Does the encounter make them reconsider Jesus?


A woman touches God in a busy crowdpaint-33883_640

On His way to carry out a life-or-death task.

She walks away healed from her brush with the Healer

Even more, she is no longer invisible, no longer unseen, no longer lost in the crowd.

How are people affected when they encounter a busy you in a crowd?


Two brothers encounter God at their workplace.

Their brush with Him leads them to take their work to a new level.

A cheat encounters God in the midst of His scam.

His brush with holiness leads Him to repay those he cheated.

A shamed woman encounters God in the town square surrounded by accusers.

Her brush with mercy leaves her forever transformed.

What do others take away from an encounter with you?


This is what I heard God ask me today as I listened with new ears to the story of the Samaritan woman.

What struck me about this exchange today was how common it was. Two people chatting at a local watering hole. It struck me how brief it was. It struck me how simple it was for Jesus to make an impact in a moment.

It sometimes feels like we make no difference in other people lives. I’ve felt that way. But that just means I’m missing something. I affect people all the time and they affect me.

I recall a cruel word muttered about me by a silly boy on a school bus over forty years ago.

I recall a shrill reprimand from an uncaring teacher from my childhood.

I recall a friend cancelling her plans in order to make me tea when I was sick thirty-five years ago.

I remember a bandleader at an older relatives’ wedding complimenting my voice and my rhythm when I was not even ten.


Every day, as I work with hurting families, I hear stories of daily encounters and their effects.

Simple exchanges, brushes with teachers, neighbors, clergy, police, doctors, friends, church people, store clerks.

Exchanges that impact hurting people for better or for worse.


We are more powerful than we want to imagine.

We impact the world in more ways than we acknowledge or let ourselves know.

When people had a brush with God they walked away affected – it is the same when people have a brush with you or me – but what is the affect?

The God the woman met at the well lives within us. We are able to do greater works even because He has risen from the dead.

We meet people at wells every day. After those meetings, what remains?


Before I could panic, God reminded me this isn’t a striving thing.

Jesus didn’t work Himself into a panic trying to make this impact in every encounter.

He simply abided with His Father so that a brush with Him was soul-affecting.

And He calls us to abide in Him.


The greatest works of art are comprised of individual strokes of a single brush.

We worry too much about the big picture of our lives and not enough about the single strokes.


A brush with death creates fear.

A brush with celebrity create exhilaration.

A brush with Jesus leads to God because a brush with Him is a brush with eternal life. You hold within you that same life and light.

What is the result of a brush with you?

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    The Conversation

  1. Cherrilynn says:

    Deep thoughts to ponder, my friend. Thank you for the conviction. My prayer. May people who brush up against us see and feel the love of Jesus. I will be at the wake of childhood friends who just lost their mother. After that a celebration of another friends art. May I have the delicate discernment in each setting to be Jesus for each person I encounter.

  2. Carla says:

    Wise words, Lori. Each day, wherever we go, we have a chance to share Jesus. It may not be with words, it may just be simply giving a homeless man $10 or a hug to someone who is crushed by the world. Love is free. It doesn’t cost us a thing to give love to those around us. May we focus our attentions this Christmas season to reach out to those around us and share Jesus. What a beautiful Gift for a lost world.

  3. Cindy Phiffer says:

    Thank you for your thought-provoking blog post. A brush with you at the Blue Ridge Mountains Writers Conference last year continues to inspire me to speak the truth with confidence. Thank you again.

  4. Lori, you’ve wrapped, up in one idea, what our day-to-day witness should be. We brush up against many lives every day and each one is an opportunity to show Christ’s love. Just a smile can mean so much. Way too often, I roam around with a distracted look on my face and my encounters with people are flat. I imagine Jesus’ face was always alive with emotion that attracted others to Him.

  5. Boy, I could use some do overs in this regard. My first brush with you was through Running From a Crazy Man, and I was left with blessings and challenges. Thank you for another beautiful encounter. God Bless.

  6. Jan says:

    Thank you Lori for reminding us of daily encounters with our fellow man. It made me recall a sermon my husband preached on ‘ What will your legacy be ‘ .
    At the present time as l am praying for four very sick people, some with life threating illnesses l cannot but help think of what their legacies will be and their daily encounters with people in their present situation. Two of the people know The Lord Jesus as their personal Saviour, the other two know very little of him.
    Yes as Christians we can, and have a duty to make lasting impacts on our daily encounters but even longer lasting impacts when we go through great personal trials and live out our faith as Jesus taught us. That’s real impact and an amazing legacy.
    I hope through God’s grace l can do both.

    Bless you Lori in all that you do for The Lord!