So Ecclesiastes. Not a Hallmark card. Kinda makes you feel worse before you feel better. I just started, so I’m in the worse part. 1:11 says:
“No one remembers the former generations, and even those yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow them.”
Wow. That makes me want to crawl back in bed. What on earth is the point of all this mess? If you know me, you know I believe the point is to walk with the Lord and introduce others to Him.
But I struggle to connect that to the daily grind. The grind that has often rubbed me into a nub.
When we consider the obstacles we face or have to watch loved ones endure-it is overwhelming. When we also read that none of it will even be remembered by anyone - well that's frankly just too much.
Since we won't apparently count in the future, we need to start counting in the present.
I know. You could have a far greater impact if you weren't surrounded by duds, right?
I totally agree. Guess what? YOU are a dud. I too am a dud, to a lesser extent of course, but a dud nonetheless.
So, how to love our fellow duds... My personal style is to berate them with my writing into some form of change. Thankfully for everyone involved, there are also other ways.
You know Jim and Jenny? You probably do. They seem to know everyone. And this is because they love others by connecting them to the Source. They meet felt needs. One time, they stepped out and met the needs of the dud that robbed their house.
Here’s what they did. It was so fantastically simple. They taped some poster board up in their front yard.
I see you deciding they are better than you.
I know them personally. The only difference between us and them is they stepped out. They showed love in a practical (albiet unconventional) way.
The robber was changed. A relationship was formed. Grace was freely extended and gratefully received. And undoubtedly, the passers by were impacted. How could they not have been? What Jim and Jenny did was not normal.
The world is watching us, Jesus People. We have to stop being so normal.
I remember once feeling prompted to buy some food for a mentally ill, elderly homeless woman in China. I didn't want to. That's not really my gig. That stuff is awkward. I'd much rather blend in.
I would so rather be comfortable, Lord.
I could tell I wasn't going on with my day without doing it though. She was sitting near a street vendor so I quickly bought the tofu on a stick and handed it to her. She took it but didn’t even seem to know what was going on.
Great. All that weirdness for nothing. Get me out of here.
I happened to catch the eye of a man as I hurried away. Visibly moved, and knowing we couldn’t communicate with words even if we tried, he gave me two hearty thumbs up.
I didn't know it, but the world was watching.
I promise there is a poster board you could hang or some tofu you could buy. Somewhere. Ask the Lord for direction. Or at least follow through with that really awkward prompt you already have in your spirit.
They will know we are Christians by our love.