Friday, May 9, 2008


A few weeks ago I was at the gym playing on the death-machine (aka treadmill). I worked up a nice sweat, finished my time and started to wipe down the machine. As I was doing this a guy walked up to me that I hadn't noticed before. He introduced himself and said, "I've seen you here a few times, and I want you to know that he have inspired me."

At this point I am in shock, I don't do many inspiring things at the gym.

He continued, I saw you running on that treadmill a few weeks ago, and I saw the amount of time you went on it. I was only going for half that time and I thought - If he can go that long, so can I. So I have pushed it and now I go as long as you do. Thanks. And he walked away.

They will know we are Christians by our love.

As I said, I had never noticed him before, and I think I have only seen him once after this encounter, but the encounter stuck with me. I wasn't doing anything amazing, I was just working up a sweat, trying to get this old body in shape. But he saw something I didn't. He saw a guy that for some reason inspired him, and he took this inspiration to make himself better.

As Christians, our calling leads us out of the walls of the church building. We are church, where ever we go, and whatever we do. So our actions speak very loudly about what we believe and people notice actions much more than words.

One of the greatest condemnations of christians is that we are hypocrites. We do one thing on Sunday, and then live our lives differently the other six days of the week. Some of this is justified, some is not. But what if ...

What if we really did show God's love for us in all of our actions and deeds ...

What if we really did care for the outcast as Jesus cares for us ...

What if we really did pray for people, right when they asked for prayers or when we said we would ...

What if ...

I just read a story about a pastor who lead a Men's Group every Wednesday. He had a guy who came every week, never missing for three years. Then, all of a sudden, he stopped coming. After three weeks of missing the pastor called him and asked if he was okay. Then man responded - I am fine. Sorry I haven't made it in the past few weeks. You see, I have this friend whose wife died suddenly about a month ago. I discovered that he and his wife had a regularly scheduled tee time on Wednesday mornings. So now, he and I use that tee time. I want to help maintain some normality in his life as he goes through this struggle.

That is what it means to be a Christian - to show love and compassion - and to do so outside of the walls of our safe worship space as well.

May we all be an inspiration to others, and may we be church in the world that God has created.

1 comment:

Betty Dygart said...

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," comes to mind as I consider Pastor E's blog.

There's an insurance company that has an advertisement on television showing how one person witnesses a good deed, and the next scene finds that person doing something good, like pulling someone back from crossing the street when traffic is coming. The cycle continues, with the pedestrian who was saved later doing his good deed for the day.

I don't know that the commercial is successful, because I don't recall the name of the company, so even if I needed insurance, I wouldn't know who to see. However, I like the message of their advertisement.

You never know who is watching you. We are everywhere sending a message about "whose we are." It's like we are ambassadors for Jesus, doing good in the world "in his name."

I pray that I am a good ambassador, and that during those times when I fail to be so, I will be forgiven. I know that forgiveness is always there, but it is better not to need forgiveness.

I pray, also, that due to my human imperfections, God has a "second team" to step in when I miss the mark. After all, Jesus died to save us all, and I don't have that duty. Thanks be to God.