It was a warm, spring night when our family attended a soccer game at a local university. My daughter was 5 years old, and soon after we arrived, she noticed a little boy playing by himself. She didn’t know him. He couldn’t speak English and was different from her in a lot of ways, but none of that stopped her from giving him a smile and joining in his made-up game. They spent the evening laughing and playing together, and by the end of the game, they sat on the grass panting in happy exhaustion, leaning on each other for rest.

While they were playing, my husband and I found his parents and introduced ourselves. That began a wonderful friendship with this sweet family from a different country, culture, and faith. It gave us the opportunity to invite them into our lives, and it had a profound impact on us. This was a unique opportunity for us to share God’s love in practical and personal ways, and it continues to be a significant relationship for our family. It stretched us, and it changed us for the better. It all started because our daughter loved that little boy like Jesus does. He doesn’t show favoritism. He takes us as we are, regardless of background, and engages in our lives as we let Him in.

When’s the last time you intentionally reached out to someone who is different from you? If it’s been a while, ask God to open your eyes to your next opportunity. And when He does, be ready to respond. It just might change your life.