I just read an email that came into our receptionist that put a lump in my throat. But before I tell you about that, let me tell you where my head was.
We all do so many ‘trivial’ things through out the day, and I’m ashamed to admit, I complain about some of them.
I’ve ‘GOT’ to call them. Or I ‘HAVE’ to return that email. Or there are things that seem like ‘busy work’ and my attitude might not match my face. I mean there is just so much to do!
Sometimes I think we can’t see the forest for the trees, or in our case the impact we are making for the fact that we are moving so fast. Someone walks up and needs prayer, so we pray. Someone needs a hug, so we give it. A volunteer needs a pat on the back and your hand reaches out toward them before your mind even knows what you’re doing.
I think we become a little numb to how much our words, actions, and attention make a difference. I think we become a little anesthetized to the fact that each of these actions can not only change someone’s life in a cataclysmic way, but also shift the course of their eternity.
But, I mean, we KNOW that. That’s WHY we do what we do. At the same time though, I’m not sure we FEEL it like we used to.
I remember working in a restaurant as a teenager. Let’s not glamorize it. I served breakfast at McDonald’s on the weekend.
The older folks never thought the coffee was hot enough. It would scald me through the cup and they would say in their cute but grumpy, it’s-Saturday-morning-don’t-mess-with-me voice, “Young lady, is there any way you can get me some HOT coffee?”
It scalded me through the cup, and it didn’t even seem hot as they sipped it in their mouth.
That’s how it can be for us in ministry. We see it happen so much that we SOMEHOW get used it. And we get a little grumpy ourselves about some of the seemingly trivial things we do.
Like loading a sermon onto YouTube. I mean really, who has time for that? Whose staff has time for that? We have to go love the people, after all. The videos only get so many views. Is it worth it? Grump. Grump. Grump. Over the trivial stuff.
Then the email comes (remember, the one that gave me the lump in my throat). Our first thought might be, another email to read. And then the busy goggles and grumpy glasses start to drip down our face in tears as we read.
‘I just recently found Christ a few years ago, after living a crazy life and in a family that did not have a religious affiliation while I was growing up. Since I have become a Christian, I have been trying to get my mom back into church and showing her that Jesus is love.
My mom found you on YouTube and I think TV a few months ago, and has been a steady watcher since. I think she has watched everything on YouTube at least a dozen times each. I just wanted to say thank you for everything that you guys do!
It is true people like y’all who can bring a broken woman like my mother, and show her how much Jesus loves her and that God is here to be with her. That she has meaning and that it is okay to walk away from all the hurts and pains of the past and embrace a happy, content future with the Lord.’
Oh yeah. THAT is why we do what do. We just got used to it.
I know you get emails like these. You get them because what you do has such an influence, effect, and a head-on collision with what the enemy is trying to steal from their life. And what YOU do, even the little things, makes a difference.
All that to say this: the little things mean a LOT.
Don’t get weary in well doing my friend! I know it’s a marathon and at some point it feels like you hit the wall. It’s the enemy’s intent to drain and distract you making you feel like you are treading water instead of taking territory.
But YOU are taking territory.
YOU are causing hell to shrink and heaven to grow.
YOU are bringing people life and hope and happiness through the Good News of Jesus Christ.
YOU are making a difference.
Thanks for being YOU.
And thanks for doing what YOU do.
Now where’s that email? I’m sure there’s life change in that inbox just waiting to happen.