Friday, December 11, 2009

Far to Go

As I mentioned in the previous post, I spent 14 hours at church last Saturday as the staff support to a team of women who had planned an outreach dessert. Actually, there were two desserts....identical programs, but one seating at 1 p.m. and another at 7 p.m., so as to reach as many people as possible. Both were sold out, with over 200 women at each.

My role(s) were pretty simple. I had the keys to the church, so I was needed to open all the doors that needed opening. And I was the speaker at the event. Actually, the speaking piece was rather minimal, as the main portions of the program were a drama sketch and a 20 minute video in which a dear friend of mine shared her very powerful testimony about the faithfulness of God.
I welcomed the women at the beginning, and then gave them the opportunity to begin a relationship with Jesus at the end.

I arrived at church at 7:45 a.m., after rolling out of bed, brushing my teeth, and throwing on a baseball cap. My plan was to use the shower at church to get dressed and primped for the desserts. Bad plan. A freezing cold shower, no outlets for hair-dryers and flattening irons, and knowing that new security cameras had been installed all throughout the building and NOT knowing exactly WHERE they were all contributed to the distress of that whole experience.
Nevertheless, I made myself presentable in time for the 1 p.m. dessert.

Then I pretty much crashed on a couch in the church Commons. I felt exhausted in every way--probably from the trauma of trying to dry my hair in a preschool bathroom. It was the ONLY bathroom in the entire church with a mirror AND an outlet, but I had to contort my still shivering body to see myself in the mirror because it was designed for use by a three year old, and only came up to my neck.

ANYWAY, it was in this wiped out moment between the two dessert seatings that a man wandered in to the church and asked if there was a staff member around with whom he could leave a letter for the Missions Committee. There were about 5 of us sacked out in the Commons, but I was the only staff member present. Due to an overwhelming case of utter selfishness and an unwillingness to move, I remained silent, avoiding eye contact.

Finally, the guy who was directing the drama sketch for the event kindly jumped up and said, "I can take care of that for you!"

None of us wanted to move, but someone had to DENY himself and get up to help the nice man who had wandered into our church building on a worthy quest.

I was certainly not the someone.

A few hours later, I was on a quest of my own. It seems the main women's bathroom was completely depleted of toilet paper after the first dessert, so I had to use my trusty keys to get into the custodians' closet to find some more T.P. I was struggling to find what I needed, when a pastor from a different department willingly stopped what he was doing to help me. He was no less busy than I (probably more), he had been at church about as long as I had that day (and he does that ALL the time, not just one Saturday a year), and he was in the middle of a task of his own.

Conviction hit my heart like a cast iron skillet. As this pastor handed me rolls of toilet paper, I had to look away so he wouldn't see my tears. His helpfulness was given freely, without even being asked. I, when asked, had refused to be helpful. Man, I have SUCH a long way to go.

I don't think Santa can bring me a six-pack of unselfishness for Christmas, but I am looking to Jesus to help me learn to see beyond myself. I am asking Him to open my eyes to the needs of others and to fill me with an eagerness to serve them--even when I don't feel like it; even when it is inconvenient; even when it costs me something; even if someone else could do it.

He left the luxuries of heaven to save my sorry soul, and I couldn't be bothered to get off the couch to deliver a letter. Forgive me, Jesus. Please, oh please, make me more like you!

1 comment:

  1. Thought provoking... Thanks Jenn... Been there, done that!~ dang