She then said: “God strengthens us with power through His Spirit. Christ dwells in your hearts through faith. Being rooted and established in love, you have power. To grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.” She then passed the box around the room again and said: “Pull out one slip of paper and read it to us. After reading it, tape the statement to the outside of the box.”
If only life could be more like the Popeye cartoon. Surrounded by overwhelming burdens, you shout: “That’s all I can stands, and I can’t stands no more!” Our relationship with God can be similar to a Popeye cartoon… sort of a “Spinach Theology.” We’ve withstood all we can bear so in desperation we turn to God, open up our Bible and say the most famous prayer in history: “Help!”
Here is the best part. Because we have a light shining in our hearts; because our jars contain a great treasure; we may be pressed by troubles but not crushed; perplexed but not driven to despair; hunted down but never abandoned. Storms and earthquakes may damage but we are never destroyed.
We pray for and care for our neighbors while looking for opportunities to share our beliefs. Jesus said: “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t be stumbling through the darkness because you will have the light that leads to life.” (John 8:12) We are to be a light while remembering Jesus is the source.
We all have choices in our interactions with people. We may choose rudeness and intimidation, or we choose patience and kindness. One might get you noticed, along with a few laughs and an occasional free hamburger while the other choice may not be as attention grabbing but others will notice, namely our children. You can bet they will learn from your example and when they are older, they will act on it.
What I witnessed in my travels was not so much an outpouring of faith but more a spiritual curiosity and openness that God really exists and could still have an impact on our lives. God was at work through the creativity of architects and artists as well as through the changed lives of ordinary children.
Putting on an apron and serving others can seem monotonous and frustrating at times but the joy of helping someone can be immensely fulfilling. DAIL Community describes their purpose: “to practice God’s commandment to love each other, spread the Good News to others and to live our lives like Jesus stretching out our hands to our abandoned neighbors thus creating a more beautiful world. It starts with anything; it starts with me; it starts now.”
As the service started, Sandi scrunched down in her pew so she wouldn’t be noticed. Maybe everyone would be so focused on talking to each other, they would miss seeing her. After the initial announcements, the minister said something that would change Sandi Patty’s life forever.