When I was little, I used to think about traveling to new places and meeting new people. I still have that desire. One thing that has been so unique for me is that God has granted that desire although it's been in a new way.
I volunteer on the internet campus for our church each Sunday. I am a "lobby chat host". Basically I greet people and help them make it to the video area. We also connect people with others and make connections that lead to those people getting plugged in to small groups and maybe even missions. I meet the most amazing people. Granted, it's not face to face but after chatting with them, I usually feel like we've just sat down over coffee.
I met a man from Ghana whom I will not name. There were about 3 of us carrying on a conversation with him. We were trying to help him with some technical aspects and then get plugged into a small group that meets during the week. The man asked "Why do you care about me? We are strangers. Why are you being so nice?".
It was really sweet. We explained to him that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. God tells us to "love our neighbors". I'm not posting this to brag at all. The sad part is that If I would have met this man from Ghana on the street- I would have been shy or reserved. I would not have known that he spoke English. I probably would not have spoken with him at all even if I had wanted to.
"Our neighbors" are everywhere. Not just random people in a lobby chat. But everywhere! We have our real "neighbors". People at the grocery store. People at school. People at the park. I feel like I am a friendly person but do not bend over backwards to make connections with people. In fact, most of the time I am too caught up with my kids acting up or what time schedule I am on to even notice people sometimes.
While it touched me what this man felt like (through Christ in the 3 of us), I want to carry that out. I want people in the places I mentioned above to say "Why are you being so nice to me? Why do you even care about me?"
That's a challenge for all of us. Reach out to those you don't know. Those of a different ethnicity. Those that are right there even when you don't "have time". Reach out and see what God does :)