I sometimes read things that encapsulate something I believe in a way far more articulate than I could manage. As we are considering our Nurturing Discipleship strategy at Hodge Hill and wanting to help people explore their gifts then this thought from Walter Wangerin seems so apt and challenging to me to live out what the sort of ministry I believe God has called me to.
You say: “But how can I serve the Lord? I’m not important. What I do is so common and of little consequence. Anyone can do what I do.”
But I say to you: “Every time you meet another human being you have the opportunity. It’s a chance at holiness. For you will do one of two things, then. Either you will build him up, or you will tear him down. Either you will acknowledge that he is, or you will make him sorry that he is – sorry, at least, that he is there, in front of you. You will create, or you will destroy. And the things you dignify or deny are God’s own property. They are made, each one of them, in his own image.”
And I say to you: “There are no useless, minor meetings. There are no dead-end jobs. There are no pointless lives. Swallow your sorrows, forget your grievances and all the hurt your poor life has sustained. Turn your face truly to the human before you and let her, for one pure moment, shine. Think her important, and then she will suspect that she is fashioned of God.”
How do you say Hello? Or do you say Hello?
How do you greet the strangers? Or do you greet them?
Are you so proud as to burden your customer, your client, your neighbour, your child with your tribulation? Even by attitude? Even by crabbiness, anger or gloom? Demolition!
Or do you look them in the eye and grant them peace?
Such are the members of the body of Christ.
Wangerin, Walter (1984) Ragman and other stories of faith. New York: HarperOne, p180-181.