Outward Living Can Be Awkward

I recently did something that was a little weird.

A couple weeks ago I ordered two red foam-board signs. Each one had a short phrase on it in white letters. One said: ‘You Have Purpose” and the other said: “You Are Loved”. The idea behind the signs was to simply stand at the entrance of our church and hold up one of them up as cars drove by. I know it seems like a strange idea. I knew those three words alone do not communicate that there is a God who loves them and created them for a purpose and that they can have life through Jesus Christ. I knew that those three words alone do not communicate the message of the Gospel–a message that needs to be clearly communicated.

But also I knew there are people driving past our church all day. There are people living in pain and discouragement. There are people driving by longing for a life and a hope beyond the one they were just surviving in. Was there any thing I could do even if it seemed weird or awkward that could be used to draw people to God. I knew God could use those three words to cause people who were far from God to begin to think about a time that someone had introduced them to Jesus. I knew it sounded strange but I believed that God could and would use those three words.

On Tuesday my signs arrived.

I have to admit there was a moment when I held the signs in my hand for the first time that I thought, “maybe this wasn’t a good idea” but there was also an excitement to see what God might do through them.

And so I took the one that said “You Have Purpose” and I stood out by the road outside of our church and held my sign up. At first it was awkward. What are people thinking as they see me standing here? What would I be thinking if I saw a guy standing by the road holding this sign? What would the people of my own church think when they see their pastor out here? Have I now become that crazy religious guy?

The cars kept driving by. Some honked. Some waved. Some just kept on driving. I stood out there for about 30-minutes praying God would use these three simple words. I eventually put down my sign and walked backed into the church.

No one stopped. I didn’t talk with anyone. I didn’t verbally share the hope of the Gospel with anyone. I just held up a sign declaring that you have purpose. I have no idea if it caused a divine pause in someone’s day. I have no idea if the Spirit of God reminded them of a conversation they recently had with a friend or family member about life that we can have through Christ. I have no idea if I was simply a guy holding a sign. But I do know one thing–I am going to do it again because those are the things you sometimes do when you turn your life outward. When you are praying for opportunities to engage the world around you, the prompting of those prayers can lead us to do things that we would not normally do and go places that we would not normally go.

So don’t be surprised if one day you drive past our church or other places in our community and you see me holding a sign.

And if you do drive by please pray that God would use that simple phrase to draw people to the One who created them. And then also pray for me that I would be willing to be uncomfortable for the sake that maybe just maybe that sign could turn into an opportunity to share the hope that I have in the One who died, was buried and rose again so that we can know the forgiveness of sins and eternal life in Jesus Christ.

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