Rustlings (December 12, 2016)

Sometimes it’s the small things that make the biggest difference. Wednesday was a long day. The morning began with continued grief over the death of a friend. The day gave way to committee meetings, phone calls, pastoral visits, midweek service and a First on Main music rehearsal. It was a long day. I exited the Fellowship Hall, made my way to the car and opened the door. A blue ‘sticky note’ attached to the window caught my eye. Someone had drawn a ‘smiley face’ and attached it to my window. I pulled it off and stuck it on my interior dash. It’s been riding with me all week. If you ‘fess up,’ I’ll be happy to thank you. It was a small thing that made a big difference in my day.

A member of the congregation made a beeline toward me at the gym. Before I could utter a ‘good morning,’ she hugged me and said, “Do you know how refreshing it is to see your pastor at the gym – sweaty, bearded and wearing a Red Hot Chili Peppers’ hoodie? Thank you for being our pastor.” We both laughed and went our separate ways. My ‘way’ felt a little lighter the rest of the day.

I ran from my condo to Lula Whilden’s grave this week. I paused for a moment and pondered the tremendous sacrifices she made in order to minister to a population halfway around the world. She overcame financial barriers, illness and the prejudices of her day in order to ensure others knew the grace and goodness of God. It’s a small thing I do today. I take an envelope from the pew pocket on a Sunday morning. I write a check, slip it in the envelope, check ‘Lula Whilden Missions’ on the front and drop it in the offering plate. That gift – that small thing I do – lightens the way for missionaries, provides ministry to the needy in our world and ensures that people around the world know the grace and goodness of God. We are over halfway to our mission offering goal for 2017. Before the season is over, make a generous gift to our mission offering and to our church budget. For some it seems a small thing, but your generosity makes a big difference.

— Jim