CLOSE THE TRUNK!
This morning I attended a business breakfast for our local Chamber of Commerce, where I was a Facilitator at a table for a group of new members. There was a good cross-section of people in attendance, & one of the men at my table was Mark Sellers, Community Life Pastor for Summit Crossing Church.
Each person present was asked to stand and introduce themselves and then tell what they wanted to get out of the Chamber of Commerce. When his turn arrived, Pastor Mark stated simply that he was not there because he expected anything out of the Chamber, but that he wanted to find out how his Church could best be of service to the community at large. Then, as the introductions continued around the room, an announcement was made that a white vehicle of a certain make and model had left its trunk open. Since it was pouring rain, this needed to be taken care of immediately in order to prevent any damage from taking place. Pastor Mark rose from his seat, and taking his rain jacket with him, said, “That would be mine.” Off he went into the rain, presumably to close the trunk to his vehicle.
A few minutes later he returned while we were still going around the room allowing people to tell about themselves, and in between speakers, he said to the room, “By the way, that was not my car!”
Although I am a very straightforward person who does not mind telling things as I see them, as someone that has spent my entire career doings sales and marketing, I also do have a filter that keeps me from being too blunt most of the time. As an Ambassador for the Chamber, I also know how important it can be to be diplomatic. However, remembering how it had been raining “cats and dogs” when I had arrived for the breakfast just a bit earlier, and knowing that a heavy downpour might cause a good bit of damage to the interior of that car, I blurted out, without thinking, “Well, did you close it?”
I could see the look of dawning realization creep across Pastor Mark’s face as he recognized that it would have been a nice thing to close the trunk. “You know, he exclaimed, I did not even think about doing that!” Then, he immediately, without hesitation, jumped up and literally ran back out into the parking lot, this time not even pausing momentarily to grab his jacket.
Mortified that my exclamation to the room might have caused him some embarrassment, I was worried about what his reaction would be when he re-entered the room. Even though someone else was speaking when he got back to our table, soaking wet from the rain, I whispered across the table that I did not mean anything by my comment.
Pastor Mark shared a genuine, boyish grin with me, and I knew that he was not upset. After the meeting was over, I apologized once again, and he laughed at himself and said that he should have thought to close the trunk in the first place. As Christians, the Bible tells us that we are supposed to be slow to take offense, but that does not mean that people are always like that, so I was most relieved to see that Mark did not appear to be offended by my careless comment. As a table facilitator, part of my job is to ask questions to see how we may better assist participants. I told Mark that I would be happy to personally assist him in uncovering some ways that his Church could be of service to the community. I also told him, along with a couple of other people that were lingering at our table that I was very impressed by his servant’s heart, as it was touching to me that he dashed out into the pouring rain without a coat on to go help someone else that he did not even know. I commended him for his good deed, and told him that I would probably want to write about what he did on my blog, but that I would keep it anonymous. He surprised me by saying that he did not mind if I use his name.
I told him about an upcoming fundraiser that would allow him to garner some publicity for his congregation. As I walked back out into the cool drizzle of rain, I was thinking about what needs I could uncover for them to provide support. I thought about how we are to meet God wherever He has a need for us to be; about how we, as Ambassadors, have a unique opportunity within our community to make good impressions as we witness for God. I thought about how we are supposed to stand ready, willing, and able to help others, no matter what their needs may be.
It occurred to me that sometimes the best way to help out is not always to put on expensive and spectacular shows, but that sometimes the best thing we can do is simply to go out and do whatever needs to be done within our community. Feeding people, assisting them during their times of need, & helping them overcome their grief are all very powerful ways to minister to them. Some days it is as simple as making sure that whatever is in their trunk does not spoil from the rain. Sometimes the best thing we can do is CLOSE THE TRUNK!!!