During the 1920s and 30s, photographer August Sander set out to portray a cross-section of German society. Through his lens he saw factory workers and financiers, actresses and housewives, Nazis and Jews. Even though his published collection contains only people in and around his hometown of Cologne, he captured what David Propson, writing in The Wall Street Journal, called “a universe of humanity in his restricted sphere.”

That phrase strikes me as an apt description of our lives and the people we meet day by day. Wherever we live, we cross paths with people from many backgrounds and beliefs.

For years, the apostle Paul traveled and preached before being imprisoned in Rome. There he continued to touch people with the gospel because he cared about them and wanted them to know Jesus Christ. The book of Acts concludes with Paul confined in Rome, living under guard in a rented house, where he “received all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 28:30-31).

Instead of focusing on his restrictions, Paul saw opportunities. That’s the key for us as well. There is a universe of humanity within our reach today.