Last week, we started this series by talking about how our number one mission as women is our families. By doing whatever it is that we need to do to take care of our husbands and children…we are fulfilling our number one mission.
Today I want to go to the next step…which is, of course…volunteering to be in charge of a state wide event for your church. KIDDING. I am SO TOTALLY KIDDING.
Seriously…the next important piece of our ministry (in my opinion) is simply working to be a light for Jesus to all those around us whenever we leave our homes. I think that sounds a bit cliche…but to me, this is the simplest form of ministry that I can be a part of outside of my home.
Let me tell you a story…but when you finish reading it you DO NOT get to say, “Oh Laura…you’re so wonderful.”..because this truly was all God and not Laura. Uh-K?
There is a grocery store close to my house where I sometimes shop. A few years ago I got in line to pay…and the gal helping me commented on how cute my baby was (that was Malachi) and oh my there are three more boys behind your cart and wow you have four boys…so we visited a while and I went home.
The next time I went to that store, I got back in this same gal’s line. She remembered me and we visited more. She was so, so sweet…and also maybe a little lonely. Her smile was contagious and I loved visiting with her. She seemed encouraged by our conversation.
Everytime I went to that store, I got in her line on purpose. We kinda became friends. Even when I’d see her around town in a location other than the grocery store, we’d visit and she was always SO excited to see me.
A year or so passed and I didn’t see her much…she wasn’t working at that grocery store anymore.
Then out of the blue one day I ran into her at Wal-mart. This time she had a man at her side and was sporting a pregnant belly. She saw me and REMEMBERED me!!! She hugged me like we were long lost friends…introduced me to her new husband and told me when their baby was due.
I ran into her a few more times here and there (yay, God)…and then guess where she showed up next?
I walked into our church building one Sunday and there she was with her husband and new baby…right in the back pew. I was so excited I ran right over to her…and she broke out in a big grin and hugged me and showed me her new baby and she was so proud. Our family sat with them…that Sunday…and several other Sundays after that…because they kept coming.
They came to our house for Thanksgiving last year. We went to their house for their son’s birthday party. They’ve had another baby since then. We’ve helped with their kids. We’ve taken them food.
I can’t think of Ernie and Melissa without either getting giddy or emotional.
They are one of the sweetest, most unassuming couples we know. They have lived rough lives. They don’t know all the churchy etiquette. They talk in full voice during a prayer saying things like, “Oh man, he’s got crud on the bottom of his shoe.” (Except they don’t say crud.) :)
Some of their friends are a rougher crowd. They’ve introduced us to some of their rougher crowd. Some of their friends said they might like to come to church too. Who knows what might happen?
ALL because I got into Melissa’s line at the grocery store…was kind…and had cute kids in my cart. God is so good.
So…mission number two:
When you go out…to the post office, to the grocery store, to the bank, to the dentist, to the library, to the where-ever…do your best to smile, be polite, and make other people feel loved.
This is kinda hard when you are tired or your kids are tired. Sometimes you feel like all you can do is just make sure no one gets lost and nobody falls out of the shopping cart. I get that. Just do your best.
Not everyone you smile at in the store is going to come to church and start asking you about Jesus. Good grief, they may not even smile back at you.
My encouragement today is simply just to recognize that God’s light can be seen in you when you are going about your daily tasks…and he can work through you…even in the most ordinary ways.
Because God’s ways are extraordinary.