I walked alongside a friend as she introduced me to her flower garden. She pointed out each rosebush, calling them by name with a different voice inflection as if each species held a unique personality. The pebbled footpath was crunchy beneath my feet; the hedging of the manicured grass gave me a certain ease. All that was required of me was to enjoy the walk.

I was in no hurry. I lingered with a listening ear, impressed by how educated my guide was with regards to the needs of her plants. She knew which nutrients to provide, how to adapt to the seasons and when to prune. Indeed, my friend was a friend to her roses.

I enjoyed the benefit of her investment. Stepping off the path just long enough to be able to reach into the colorful tops, I tucked a few near to my nose and took in a deep, deep breath. Releasing them back to their spot, I returned to my own position along the lane… their fragrance remaining with me. I couldn’t help but smile. They had infected me with their beauty.

I left my friend’s voice for the thoughts in my head. She knew so well what I was missing. I simply saw red roses. She saw individual names. I couldn’t tell you one red rose from another. She not only could tell you the rose, but could tell you her history, how best she grows, and how fragrant she is this time of year.

I took in another deep breath. The aroma of the rose had left me. I was too far removed from her. I looked back, but I could not tell which one I had reached for… which one gave me so much pleasure. For me, she was just a red rose. A sadness touched me.

How many times does our society look upon people much the same? “Just a room full of strangers,” “Just a classroom of children,” “just a bunch of obnoxious teenagers,” “just old people.”

“But now, this is what the LORD says… ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine,’” — Isaiah 43:1.

We are not “just” anything. We are HIS.

Friend, the Lord knows your name. The Lord knows your history, how best you grow, and how well you are doing at being a fragrant offering. He has eternally invested in you through the sacrifice of his son, Christ Jesus. You are not just a person in a big world. You are specifically created for God’s pleasure. Share God’s eternal love. There is enough for everyone (yeah, even so-and-so).

Non-believers oftentimes benefit when they recognize the Christ-like character you display just outside their daily footpath. They may step out of their way just long enough to reach into your testimony, watching your example. Yes, Believers can infect others with God’s love. Do you openly speak of Jesus’ transforming love in your life, or do you shy away from mentioning the impact of Christ in your life?

“For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing,” — 2 Corinthians 2:15.

May we not linger too far from God that we fail to see people from God’s view: His.

SGLY, dear readers.

(Smile, God Loves You.)

Tiffany Kaye Chartier is a Christian author and opinion columnist. You can find her newly released books, “H.E.R.O. Faith” and “Bad Disciples” on Amazon. To submit feedback on SGLY, please contact news@amtrib.com. Follow Chartier on Facebook: facebook.com/tiffanychartier and Twitter: @tiffanychartier.