Something weird happened in church on Sunday: I got mentioned in the sermon. What’s more it wasn’t one of those, ‘Here’s a really bad example of someone trying to live the Christian life; whatever you do, don’t be like this guy.’
Fortunately, it wasn’t one of those moments where you’re about to fall into a deep slumber, and then you hear your name, and wake up and loudly go, “Yes! What?” (I hate when that happens.)
Actually, I knew this story was coming as soon as he launched into it. Our topic was worship. While these usually a take a ‘worship is more than just singing’ approach, this time we focused on what we do when we sing. The speaker was describing his start in music ministry as having its beginning during a service in that very church, at a time when I was music director — we didn’t have the phrase worship director back then, or electricity — when I allowed a 15-year old kid to play bass guitar for a Sunday.
And here’s one of the best parts of this story:
I have no memory of that particular service.
The reason I call that one of the best parts, is because I can’t look back and say, “Oh yes, well I saw such great potential and I just knew that God had wonderful things in store for this young man, that I wanted to give him a ministry opportunity.”
No. That would be an opening for pride. The type of pride that would take the whole situation and write a blog post about it. (Oops!) Well, you know what I mean.
Anyway, I heard my name, and I knew the story, and I was happy to be a part of his journey, and was anxious to hear the rest of the sermon, and settled back to enjoy the message along with everyone else, following my 3.1415 seconds of fame.
But then it happened. He went on to tell more of that story, and while I had heard some details before, I didn’t realize he had gone on to become Operations Director for a YWAM base in a major American city.
The magnitude of where his journey had taken him suddenly hit me. It was at that point, I realized the significance of my inviting him to play bass all those years ago. That’s when I started to get a little teary.
I started wondering if there were any other people who I helped or influenced whose story I will never know, at least not in this life. I then wonder how much we — you included — are part of someone’s journey without realizing the impact we have.
Interestingly, this episode on the weekend comes in the middle of a dry season. It was like, ‘Okay, my life has a purpose after all.’ I’m being overly dramatic here, but you get the idea. It’s nice to know that you’re part of a chain of grace, as your story intersects someone else’s.
Dallas Holm is talking more about evangelism in this song, but there are a few lyrics appropriate to today’s thoughts:
…Oh to be a link in this line of faith,
To help steer somebody to see His face;
Then watch them turn around and do the same thing,
In this chain of grace…
…I praise the Lord
For those I may never meet
Who some time and place I may have reached,
Through Your perfect love.