I want to say thank you to all my fellow Christians who every day are playing a part in someone else’s love story with Jesus. Thank you for working in the church nursery, thank you for bringing those hot meals to the recovering surgery patient, for allowing your fellow road travelers to cut into traffic just because you are showing a kind gesture, for being the coworker that doesn’t gossip, the nurse who prays with her patients, the accountant that shows integrity when no one else is watching.
Thank you to my brothers and sisters in Christ who year after year journey to other countries and feed the needy, to those of you who work hard daily so that those mission trips can be funded. I consider it an honor to link arms with you. You are flower planters who are making a difference.
As a little girl, I vividly remember the brilliantly colored purple and hot pink flowers outside of North Park Baptist Church. They represented something that I didn’t see every day . . . prosperity. They were one element to the feeling or sense of Jesus that I loved about church. One element, one small ingredient to my love story with Him, and that one element is still remembered forty-two years later.
It never occurred to my six-year-old mind what it took to place them there, but in hindsight I now wonder if they were planted by the church’s maintenance guy or perhaps by a church member that had volunteered his or her time. Who was that someone who had kneeled down in the dirt, gotten the black soil under their fingernails and wiped sweat from their brow as the Florida heat beat down? That I will never know, but what I do know is that those tiny, colorful flowers were a powerful welcome to the Bible Story that was waiting to be told by a faithful teacher who had prepared a lesson that pointed me to the God of the universe and His unfailing love.
I recently heard about a man who had attended one of our city’s local church services and walked to the front when the pastor asked who would like to make Jesus Christ their personal Savior. Several weeks later this new believer in Christ followed Jesus’s example and was water baptized (Matthew 3:13-17). The church congregation cheered as he was immersed and then emerged out of the water with wet hair and a huge smile on his face. We’ve seen this scene many times before, and yet his baptism was unique because the person who was baptizing him had been specifically requested by this new Christian.
Yes, he had requested that he be baptized by the church’s volunteer parking assistant. Why? Because this volunteer was the one who had waved to him weeks before as he was driving by the church one Sunday morning. This friendly, non-judgmental wave beckoned him into church, and it would be the Sunday morning that would forever change his life. Isn’t our heavenly Father amazing? He uses us to help change lives. Each seemingly small action matters, and I sense the Father’s joy as we love Him by loving others.
Matthew 25:21—“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”
Matthew 25:40—“. . . whatever you did for one of the least of these . . .”