friday flashback

A good friend of mine suggested I share this story [for many of you- again] as a Friday Flashback. It's a fun story, but one with a point as well, so it seemed like a great idea. Then, this morning our fabulous church secretary called to let me know Tali will be the scripture reader and to provide me with the passage... which, of course, fit perfectly with the already requested story. So there you have it, confirmation that I'm to blog this and proof that God loves to use my own embarassment to His glory.

A couple of years ago someone I love very much was in the midst of the most profound grief one can imagine, and he asked a favor of me- "Could you run to the liquor store and pick up a case of beer"? Uggggggh. I am not judging his desire to have a couple of beers during such a time as this (or any other time for that matter)... I just hate to be seen at the liquor store! No time to argue though, so I hopped in the car and away I went. No big deal.

Until a week later at SonShine Kids. I was the group leader for second and third graders and I loved those kids and I like to think that those kids loved me. We were getting ready to move from one station to the next and I had my group all lined up. The little girl in the front was one of my favorites (I know you aren't supposed to have those, but let's be real here, we all do)... she was from somewhat of a rough home, didn't have much materialistically but had a love for Jesus and the sweetest heart. What happened next is inscribed in my memory to the smallest detail, like a movie.

Looking up at me, with her sweet little voice, she said "I saw you at the liquor store".
"No, honey, I don't think that was me. I don't drink..." I answered with a confused expression on my face.
"Yes, it was you, and you had beer".
This is where that sinking feeling started in my gut. You know that feeling.
"Oh. Oh, honey... yes... that was me. I can't really explain that, but it wasn't for me..." To follow was some stammering and broken explanation that I was doing a favor for a friend. And conviction from the Lord... The World is Watching.

Dear Friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us. [1 Peter 2:11-12]

The world is watching... and God asks us to live our lives in such a way that even if they accuse us of doing wrong the lives we live will testify differently. Someone said recently- the best sermons are LIVED, not preached. So true! Are you living out your sermon?

Now, I have to honestly say, I probably wouldn't have changed going to the liquor store that day. The time and the requestor was such that it was not the appropriate time to argue about a case of beer, he was in the midst of grief at it's rawest form, so who am I? But the lesson in this for me was to always keep in mind that people are watching. If you profess to be a Christian, if you say that you are trying to be more like Jesus, they are watching. What do they see? Of course we are going to fall short of perfection, and there will be times we are "caught in the act"... but overall am I living a life worthy of the call? Am I living up to His command: "Be holy as I am holy"? When the world sees me, do they see a "peculiar" person (well, of course they do! but not THAT kind of peculiar!)? Do they see something different about me? Do they see Jesus?

This is what we are striving for, friends. We should be different. We should respond differently to the trials of this old world. We should behave differently. We should live our lives as aliens and strangers, because this world is not our home! We are called to something much greater... Now let's live like we believe it!!!


Lauren said...

I hate moments like this.

But I love the lessons that we learn in the midst of them.

solid post.

beverlyj said...

I like it when people say they are sorry when they cuss in front of me. They see Jesus shining on through and it makes them feel quilty. Not that I like making people feel guilty but I like that they SEE the change in me and that I am different. I don't mind being different and speaking my mind. Guess I never have.