Sunday, September 12, 2010

Jesus, the Smelly Room, and Why I am a PIG

Picture this. You’re driving through town on a Sunday morning and the marquee outside a church reads, One Time Guest Appearance Today—Jesus Christ.  Overcome with curiosity, you go in. If He is really here, you expect to see Him in the pulpit. Even the most egocentric pastor would defer to a visiting preacher of this caliber. But Jesus isn’t there. You look around. Perhaps He’s in the audience, content to  enjoy others’ gifts and talents. But there’s no Jesus in the pews.

Realizing you’ve been taken by a gimmick, you head down the hall to the back exit. A figure sitting in a room to your right stops you short.  It’s Him. It’s Jesus. And He’s in—of all places—the nursery. God Almighty is in a rocking chair feeding zwieback toast to a toddler. Small kids are playing at His feet, showing Him pictures in books. He laughs as one little girl brushes His hair.

Jesus smiles at you, unmoved by your shock. He goes back to rocking, as if being here is the most natural place for Him to be.  Another child climbs onto His lap.

He shouldn’t be in here! You protest silently. Confusion, bewilderment and even anger rise up inside. You notice there are no other adults to help Him. Yet you know, instantly, that Jesus has chosen—chosen—to spend the entire morning service in this stuffy room that smells like a Diaper Genie.

Jesus is playing “This Little Piggy” with a boy’s toes, and it triggers a mental image of other feet--tired, calloused, dusty feet. The feet of Peter, resting in a basin of warm water, washed by the strong and gentle hands of His Master.

Thou shalt never wash my feet!

You suddenly understand why Jesus is here, hidden away in this humble back room.

It’s why He came to church.

The congregation is dismissed and a mom walks in to retrieve her child. Somehow you know that she was scheduled to be in here today. Her mascara is smeared; she’s been crying. God touched her in the service. She thanks Jesus, Who assures her the pleasure was all His.

For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

John 13

I know the thrill of preaching, or sitting at the piano, eating a microphone in the limelight. But you know what really thrills me? Sitting in the nursery, knowing I’ve enabled a mother to stay in the service and receive ministry. You know what kills me? When I get up from the pew to go get a drink, walk by the nursery, and see a woman in there who has needs. More needs than me. Hard life stuff. Major domestic distresses and hardships I can’t begin to imagine. I feel like a pig. A PIG. We that are "older in the faith" and have been fattened up on God's Word ought to be doing more giving and less taking. We can and should "get fed" through our own devotional life at home.

Here's a news flash: You don't need to hear "the call of God" to work with children and babies or even love doing it! We do it because there is a need and we're available. We don't do it because the nursery is "a good place to start out." Jesus didn't start out in foot washing. It's where He ended up, after three successful years of front line ministry.


From Mary's Pen said...

Beautifully written. Thank you Sister, for telling the truth so simply and elegantly.

Rejoicing in the day,

Anonymous said...

Thank you, that was extremely valuable and interesting...I will be back again to read more on this topic.

gigimae101 said...

U r the bomb shizzle as my kids would say!! That means you are great!love the kool aid lady

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Ty said...

Can this be revised into some sort of MOPPETS volunteers flyer? Just found out only 3 of our 10 ladies are returning this year. Tag line would be something like "Come Hang Out with Jesus" or "Wanted: PIGS". :-)
Your Fan Club President,

Your dad said...

Right on, but makes me uncomfortable, Faith. I wonder in what other areas I'm remiss?