Life has a way of becoming stunningly obvious at times.
Take last week for example. My driving assignments have slowed since the Christmas rush has subsided.
Not to fear, the Apainter Paul is getting some big painting jobs he needs help with.
Last week we were painting an exterior in Frisco. We finished the back first. On Wednesday I was painting the front of the house when a commotion occurred next door.
A car stopped in the cul-de-sac. A woman in a burgundy outfit jogged to the front door. She was let in almost immediately.
A few minutes later a woman in a matching light blue outfit walked out carrying a few bags of stuff to her car.
A young man drove up and walked to the door. The door opened. An older man asked one question as he ushered the young man in. “What have you heard?”
This did not sound good. We learned from the homeowner we were working for, Lu, that a Parkinson’s patient was on hospice care in the home.
Later in the morning the woman in the burgundy outfit walked outside to talk on her phone away from the gathering family inside.
One sentence jumped out at me. “Jim passed this morning.” Four words that hung in the air.
Hospice workers are a special breed of people.
A first name is all she needed to tell her listener who she was talking about. These aren’t patients. They’re real people.
When you work around death on a regular basis you have your own code words.
“Passed” means Jim is no longer with us here in this world. His soul has passed into the next. His eternal destiny is fixed now.
We later learned one of the hospice workers led Jim to Christ about three weeks ago. He’s waiting for fellow believers with his Savior now.
Some of the neighbors walked to the door and offered the same sentiment: “If you need anything just let me know.”
If the Good Lord ever gives me the chance to own a home I want two things with it: I want a neighbor like Lu and I want to be the type of neighbor Lu is.
Just before one o’clock Lu drove up to the home. She carried a large bag with a deli logo on it. Four hours later she hefted a large ice chest out of the back of her SUV and brought that to the front door.
Lu didn’t wait to be asked to help. She knew these folks weren’t thinking about what they were going to eat at this time. She filled that need on her own.
Our church has a unique way of handling the missionary outreach we have. It combines the overseas missionaries with the local ways of reaching outside of the church building’s walls.
It’s called “missional living.” It’s viewed as more of a mindset than a division of the church’s function.
We recognize that simply building a big church and holding worship services inside isn’t enough to drawn people into God’s family.
There are so many local means of reaching folks with God’s concern that I probably don’t know of half of them, and I’ve gone to quite a few of their meetings. I just wished my schedule allowed me to get involved with more of them.
Lu is living a missional living life. Her neighbor’s know she’s different in the best way possible.
You better believe that if Lu ever needs help one of her neighbor’s will be there for her. And if she ever asks them if they’d like to go to church with her some Sunday they are very possibly going to take her up on her offer.
That’s why I want to be like Lu. Because she’s more like Jesus than most preachers I know.
Preachers are so busy preparing sermons, coming up with catchy story illustrations and thinking about their next sermon series that they can’t do what Lu did.
That’s why there are so many more people in the pews than there are people preaching sermons.
What about you? Are you reaching your neighbors by meeting their needs without being asked?
Do you have pictures of missionaries stuck on your refrigerator to remind you to pray for them throughout the day?
Don’t tell me you’re one of those folks who simply attends church occasionally and then goes back to your normal life the rest of the week.
That’s not what Jesus wants us doing.
Jesus didn’t die for us to simply provide fire insurance for our eternal destiny.
He wants us to attract as many other souls into heaven as we can.
Let’s help Lu be the hands and feet of Jesus here and now.
I’ll see you later. Wade