We're taught to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. But if we spend all of our time looking down at footprints, we can lose our sense of direction. So remember to look up every now and then, because God posts signs along the way to keep us from getting lost.
There was much debate among the congregation on the contract to erect a large, expensive sign announcing the future home of our new church. Some felt a large, well lit sign should placed at the edge of the property overlooking the heavily traveled parkway. Others felt the money would be better spent through our many outreach programs. Then one Sunday morning the answer became clear.
We all sat in quiet disbelief as she recalled the painful memories from her season away. No one ever expected a church council member to have such a precarious past. It was the kind of story that make the troubles in our own lives feel so insignificant.
She spoke about her two failed marriages, the controlling husband in one and the reckless husband in the other. She fell into financial ruin; then was left to raise her son and daughter on a mere $135 per month. She told us about her sonís drug addiction escalating from marijuana to crystal methamphetamine, and the failed suicide attempts by her daughter. She explained every detail of her transformation from Bible thumping teenager to apathetic soccer mom. She had wandered so far from God that her life became an abyss of chores and challenges.
We marveled at her tearless delivery of every gut-wrenching moment she was forced to remember. Yet, during her entire testimony her voice remained strong and purposeful without one whisper of regret or self-pity. She never uttered a single unkind word about her former husbands. Nor, did she seek to cast blame for her circumstances. Because her message that Sunday wasnít about her season away, it was about her journey home, a journey that began when she found our church.
She said, we taught her how to look ahead instead of behind and count her blessings rather than her mistakes. We gave her acceptance, love and support during difficult times. And she called us, family.
Her story illustrated why our church doesnít need a sign. Itís the people looking for a sign that need our church. Suddenly, the debate was over, and a decision was made. If every member of our church extended an invitation to another, God could touch that many more lives.
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