In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
A Silly T-Shirt
Saturday morning when I woke up, I purposely selected a bright pink shirt to wear. I wanted to be clearly visible so that traffic would be able to see me during our milk giveaway. I knew that I would be walking all around the parking lot and the neighboring streets, and since I have trouble with my vision, I wanted to be sure the drivers would at least see me.
In my rush to get ready, I grabbed a random bright pink T-shirt out of my dresser drawer. As I came downstairs to leave for the church, Jeff looked at me and said, “Are you sure you wanna wear that?“
“Why not!“ I explained. “I am bright pink so cars can see me.”
“But look at what your shirt says.“
I looked down and realized that I was wearing one of my favorite old T-shirts. One that said, “Feed me and tell me I’m pretty.”
“That’s OK, “I said “his shirt is old. I donT’t mind if I get it dirty. Plus, it is hot outside.”
“OK,” said Jeff. “But I still think that you should wear a clergy collar or one of your clergy dresses.“
“Why?“ I asked. “The only people who are going to see me are the other the other church people and those who are coming to get milk. Nobody cares what I’m wearing.”
“All right,” he said with a shrug, “have it your way.”
A Leap of Faith
Originally, when we had agreed to do the milk giveaway, I was concerned that we were not going to have enough volunteers. The suggested number of volunteers for an event like this was 20 people. Both of the churches that I serve are very small, and even before the pandemic there were times when we might have only twenty people at worship on a Sunday morning. Now, with so many people worshiping at home, and so many people with health concerns, I was not sure if we would be able to gather the necessary number of volunteers. However, I was sure that there was a need in the community
Would we really have enough people? Would we really be able to make this happen? Or would there be a tractor trailer truck full of spoiled milk in the church parking lot come Sunday morning?
Look at all these beautiful people!
I did not have to worry and fret for a long. Soon, after I said a fervent prayer, the volunteers began to show up. First church members came one by one. Then they began to come in groups. Finally, within the hour, we had over 20 volunteers from both congregations present. They were excited God’s work.
Our church family has people of all ages and ability levels. Some were children, some of us were a little bit older, and some of us were anywhere in-between. Everyone was able to find a job that they were able to do. Some people were also visually impaired like myself (A friendly reminder: Please do not pet service dogs when they are working).
By the time we were done, we had given away 1,727 gallons of milk. It was a truly beautiful thing. We had given away almost 400 gallons of milk an hour!
The Most Beautiful Thing of All
The most beautiful thing of all is God’s love. When we love the Lord our God, God helps us to love other people.
The most beautiful sacrifice at all was Jesus on the cross.
Jesus suffered humiliation and pain because he loved us so deeply. Some of his final words on the cross were “Father ,forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing (Luke 23:34).”
Christ’s sacrificial love— his forgiveness — is the most life changing and beautiful thing of all. We DON’T know what we are doing. We make mistakes every day. We all sin and we all make mistakes, but Christ died to set us free from that sin. His sacrifice was more beautiful than we can even begin to imagine. Sharing Christ’s love is beyond beautiful
“Who’s Going to See Me?”
Remember how when I left the house that morning, I didn’t think anyone would see the silly shirt that I was wearing? I got the surprise of my life when the local news showed up to do a story about the work that our church was doing. I wanted to let other people know that they could come to the church and get free milk (when the reporter came, we still had almost a thousand gallons) but I was also embarrassed to be seen on local TV wearing a bright pink shirt that said, “Feed Me and Tell Me I’m Pretty.”
When the story finally ran at 5PM that evening, I was very glad that they had framed the shot so that you could not see my shirt. In fact, with my hat and my enormous prescription sunglasses (with my eye problems, I’m very sensitive to light), plus the face mask, you couldn’t see much of me at all.
As one person who saw the news segment said, “I didn’t even know it was you.”
That was just fine with me. I was glad, because the important thing wasn’t who I was, or even who the individual congregation members were. The importatnt thing is the work that the Holy Spirit was doing through our church family.
The most beautiful thing in front of me was all of the church people and the work that they were doing to spread God‘s love. I will need to get a new shirt. Instead of it saying, “feed me and tell me I’m pretty“ it should say “Feeding the hungry is a beautiful thing.“
Until Next Time,
This post is part of the series, “His Encouragement: Thursday Thoughts to Strengthen Your Soul.”
Now, it’s your turn! What Scripture verse is inspiring you this week? Let me know in the comments below! I’m excited to join with a group of blogging friends in order to offer you a weekly devotional which will be posted every Thursday.
Please be sure to check out the other great bloggers involved in the His Encouragement weekly series!
Rev. Rebecca (B.S. English Ed. & M.Div.) is United Methodist pastor, author, literary critic, and disability awareness activist. Rebecca is particularly passionate about spreading the love of God to those who have been traditionally marginalized by society. Her chapbook, "Through My Good Eye: A Memoir in Verse," is now available on Kindle and in paperback.
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