Years ago when I was the pastor at the Nooksack church, the Church had a rummage sale to raise money for the youth. People donated a ton of treasures to be sold. Ken Roberts wandered by and I remember watching him as he poked through the tables full of assorted goods, and then I saw him as his eyes lit up. Some of you may remember all the Dahlias on the corner near the post office in Nooksack. Ken found an entire box of assorted flower vases, and they only cost a dollar. A man who loves flowers can always use another vase, and at such a cheap price. He scoops up his treasure, pays for it, and then I heard the rest of the story later. He goes home to his wife Francie and proudly shows her what he had found. Francie took one look at Ken and started laughing, “Ken, I donated those vases. They were yours.” Ken passed by the vases on a shelf for years and somehow never noticed them.
From a random shuffle facebook posting a few days ago: “Trust is a valuable thing. But once it is broken, it is very hard to get back. You can almost never trust them again!” Many people feel that way. We can all think of specific situations where it is hard to trust again. Relationships. Friendships. Men. Women. America. Presidents.
I expect a hearty “Amen” after my opening sentence… Nobody has to listen to a thing said by Carl Crouse [Amen?]. What do I mean? The only authority, the only standing, the only value I have, is whatever you place in me. It’s up to you to trust me in your timing, your way, to test me: am I worthy of being a pastor, a leader, it’s up to you.
Years ago when Sally and were living in San Francisco, a young woman with a small child lived with us – it did not take long to see that the child, Kristopher, was used as a pawn between mom and dad. The mom withheld the child from the dad if he did not do what she wanted, and he was no better. The two adults flexed their muscles, but who lost? We let too many people fall between the cracks, or a new phrase I learned this week, fall between the stools...
You May be the only Bible some people read…
You may be the only Jesus some people see…
How you carry yourself as a committed believer in Jesus Christ is as important as what you say. Francis of Assisi said, "It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching."