25 September, 2016

This Guy

There's this guy in my town that is relentless in his work.  Every time I drive by his place of work he is there.....early morning or late evening. EVERY TIME.  6 a.m.?  Yes.  6:00 p.m.? Yes.  Seriously, there he is again.  When I first encountered this guy, my thoughts were not so kind.  They were along the lines of, "Oh boy, what is he hoping to accomplish?"  "Does this really help bring love into the world?"  Does this really help the cause of Christ?"  I daresay that many driving past him shared similar thoughts as mine.  A curious character, we thought.

But now, after months and months of seeing this one man, doing his one thing my thoughts have shifted.  In his relentless effort he's changed his work place and he's changed me.  What started off as a piece of ground outside a fast food restaurant at a very busy intersection where people were scurrying from one appointment to the next has become...actually Holy Ground.  Now it's a place where horns honk as they drive by and where I want to see this guy.  I want to wave at him and I want him to wave and point at me.  Now, it's a place I look forward to driving past in hopes of seeing him and feel that brush of God's love.  Yes, this one guy and Holy ground.  He is truly at work!  He is in his workplace.  He's turned a patch of ground into his holy work.

How is it that the God of the universe can and WILL use us in our everyday, sign-holding days?  How is it that He just wants us to take one tiny step of faith and then He shows His unbelievable blessing and grace....

...what a nice, little safe message I thought as I was about to close this blog out but a persistent voice kept ringing in my head.  "There is more to 'this guy', there is more I have to say to you, daughter." Here are the lessons I have received from the more:

1.  We all have a mission.  Mine may not be holding a sign at a busy intersection but I can be sure that there is a mission with my name on it.  Please notice the word ALL.  And its up to us to seek it, find it and step out.  It's not hard.  It's probably a nudge we have been feeling for a long time.  Most missions are found in the backyards of our lives.
And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit...Matthew 28:17-19

2.  Our 'signs' speak for us.  This guy that I've watched all summer is sending one message with his sign.  He, himself is obscured.  His sign's message is not about him.  It clearly points to only ONE.  I, too carry a sign in my life everyday and that sign carries a message.  People may not see me but they see my sign.  Woe is me....if my sign only speaks of myself, my needs, my life.
He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30

3.  The message we carry is for those outside of our safe boundary.  Please notice that 'this guy' is not standing in his neighborhood or in his church parking lot or his comfortable Bible study group but he is standing all alone on a corner in hot, hot Alabama weather.  His message is for those who do not understand or believe the words on his sign.  I'm afraid that IF I ever even carry a sign it is mainly to those who already know the message.  I'm comfortable showing love to those in my inner circle but I desperately want to carry a sign to those who DO NOT know of His love.
"...you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”Acts 1:8

4.  The one step of GO leads to unexpected JOY.  I bet 'this guy' didn't have any idea of what would happen after he made his sign and set to work.  I bet he was just relieved to be one-stepping his way to the call God had for him.  But oh, the joy he has offered our community.  And I bet the joy has overwhelmed him as well.

Where is your patch of ground?  What is the sign that we've been given to carry?  Who are those in our world waiting to glimpse a brush of God's love? Am I brave enough to risk rushing out into the public places and showing my faith?  Imagine the impact on each of our worlds.  What sign will I pick up and carry today?  Even in the heat or the cold will I step forward?  Where is the holy ground for me?